nano·​par·​ti·​cle | \ˈna-nə-ˌpär-ti-kəl, ˈna-nō-\

Definition of nanoparticle 

: a microscopic particle whose size is measured in nanometers

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Nanoparticles of a material usually have very different qualities from those that the material has at its ordinary scale, which is one reason why there's such excitement about the possibilities for how they might be used in future technologies. Many uses have already been developed. Aluminum nanoparticles added to rocket fuel can make the fuel burn twice as fast and release much more energy. Silicon nanoparticles are increasing the energy efficiency of solar cells by allowing the energy from ultraviolet light to be captured for the first time. Other nanoparticles are now helping prevent rust in metals, produce stronger batteries, enhance the diagnosis of cancer, and improve the filtering of water, and the number of other applications is growing fast.

Examples of nanoparticle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With a slight dip in temperature, the polymer becomes a liquid, which soaks into the wood and carries the nanoparticles with it. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Tiny magnets will escort ions out of rare material from a shipwreck," 24 Aug. 2018 An international team of scientists were able to create the fastest mechanical rotation known to exist in history: nanoparticles spinning around each other at a billion times per second. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Get Nanoparticles Spinning a Billion Times Per Second," 19 July 2018 The Keywords column about battery life in Monday’s Business & Finance section incorrectly said the nanoparticles have a hard graphite-silicon shell. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 19 Mar. 2018 These start life as nanoparticles of silicon dioxide. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Internet-demanded, partially scientific testing of Ultra-Ever Dry (in HD!)," 4 July 2018 This nanoparticle of carbon and silicon, made by Global Graphene Group, could help lithium-ion batteries store significantly more energy. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "The Battery Boost We’ve Been Waiting for Is Only a Few Years Out," 18 Mar. 2018 The company used an injection of nanoparticles containing RNA for CRISPR to get the editing tool into liver cells. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Gene edited monkeys offer hope for heart disease patients," 9 July 2018 Scientists have tried everything from nanoparticles to homing-beacon bacteria to better target the disease. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Spermbots Offer a Promising New Way to Target Cancer," 17 May 2018 In this case, the silicon carbide nanoparticles were infused into a molten magnesium zinc. Jessica Firger, Newsweek, "Scientists Create the Superman of Metals," 25 Dec. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nanoparticle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nanoparticle

1983, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for nanoparticle

The first known use of nanoparticle was in 1983

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More Definitions for nanoparticle


nano·​par·​ti·​cle | \-ˌpärt-i-kəl \

Medical Definition of nanoparticle 

: a microscopic particle whose size is measured in nanometers drugs bound to biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles

More from Merriam-Webster on nanoparticle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nanoparticle Encyclopedia article about nanoparticle

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