A Universal Model for Nanoparticle Size Effects

Dr. Helen Farrell
Department of materials Sciences and Engineering
Idaho National Laboratory

Though many, if not most, scientists are familiar with the effect of size on the electronic properties of nanoparticles, fewer are familiar with the effect of size on constituent properties such as cohesive energy, melting points, and congruent vapor pressures, for example.  These properties are, of course, very important in the synthesis, manipulation and utilization of nanoparticles and are often difficult to determine experimentally, particularly in the range below 5 nm.   Therefore, in order to supplement these experimental results, a simple, “back of the envelope” model for calculating such properties based solely on the size of the nanoparticle and knowledge of the enthalpy of the bulk materials has been developed.

Helen Farrell is a Directorate Fellow in the Department of Materials Sciences and Engineering at Idaho National Laboratory (INL).  She earned B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 1969.  After many years of experimental research in the areas of the physics, chemistry and materials science of surfaces and interfaces, she became a density functional theory (DFT) modeler when she moved to INL and has expanded her interests to include nanoparticles.