Metallic nanoparticles are gradually emerging as important materials because of their novel shape and size-dependent chemical and physical properties that differ drastically from their bulk counterparts. The main challenges in the field of nano-chemistry are the rational control and manipulation of synthesis to derive materials with one of their dimensions in nanometer regime, and upscale production of nanomaterials for device fabrication. This chapter reviews the fundamentals of the quantum properties of metals and quantum mechanical size effects with special focus on clusters of Pd, Pt, Au and Ag. Effects of reduction in size of metal nanoparticles to nanoscale on their various properties (structural, thermal, mechanical, chemical, electronic, magnetic and optical) are reviewed. The chapter concludes with a review of select medical applications of metal nanoparticles.
Part of the book: Noble and Precious Metals