Colloid chemistry and Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology deals with the fact that certain well-known properties of materials dramatically change if the size of these materials is reduced or limited to some nanometers. The materials’ colour might shift or electrical and magnetic properties change if the particle size is reduced. Additionally the specific surface area of the materials increases exponentially by reducing the particle size – while for a micro particle distinctly less than 1% of the atoms are at the particle’s surface the number increases to 50% and more for nanoparticles. The enormous surface area can lead to an immense increase in the activity of catalytic materials or it might result in improved properties for certain composite materials.

The DTNW investigates possibilities to use nanotechnology for functionalising textile materials since many years. If there is a need to improve the wear-resistance, to achieve antistatic properties, to make surfaces water-, oil- or soil repellent or to make it more durable against aggressive atmospheres, there are nanotechnological approaches to solve such problems. The development of surfaces exhibiting catalytic or antibacterial activity using nanotechnology are possible and also more exotic products as e.g. magnetic textiles or fabrics changing colour in the sun can be realised.

Dr. Torsten Textor
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