Authors: P. Maestro, Y. Bomal and T. Chopin
Affilation: RHODIA RECHERCHES ET TECHNOLOGIES, France
Pages: 332 - 335
Keywords: cerium oxide, silica, zirconium phosphate, reinforcement, catalysis
Micro- and nanotechnologies are at the centre of numerous investigations and huge investments, essentially in the areas of information technologies and health care . The technologies utilised mainly take advantage of microelectronics and/or rather sophisticated “physical” techniques (laser ablation, PVD, ..).<br> <br>On the other hand, chemistry has anticipated for long the importance of decreasing the size in the search for new properties of materials, and of materials structured at the nanosize in a number of applications related to daily life. <br> <br>Today, based on research initiated in the late 80s, we are mastering industrially the synthesis of particles in a range of sizes from 5 to 100s of nanometres and their functionalisation for adaptation to use in specific application media. <br> <br>Coupling the skills in mineral synthesis, organic synthesis, physical-chemistry of complex media, and physics of materials, has been the key for the success of these developments. <br> <br>Three main examples illustrating these achievements and will be presented : <br> <br>- silicas for the reinforcement of mechanical properties of elastomers,<br> <br>- cerium oxides as additives in the depollution of diesel engines,<br> <br>- lamellar zirconium phosphates (alpha form) as reinforcing and gas-barrier agents in thermoplastics .<br> <br>Some examples of other areas of application currently under development will also be illustrated.