Sunday, 2 January 2011

Japan uses silver in nanotechnology to create new metal

Nanotechnology used in creating a new metal
new nano technology
It has been reported that Japan has created a new metal alloy by combining Silver and Rhodium. The new metal shows similar properties to Palladium, which is often used in catalytic converters (Auto industry).

The motive behind the nano research is to allow Japan to limit its importing of Palladium and have access to a viable alternative.

The research is currently taking place at Kyoto University and being led by Professor Hiroshi Kitagawa.  The University is a hub for rare metal research.

palladium pd
Nano Science used to produce new alloy
Palladium is directly between Rhodium and Silver in the Periodic table of elements. Both metals usually remain separate, even when heated to extreme temperatures.

Professor Kitagawa and his team have used nanotechnology techniques to produce the new metal alloy:

Both metals are heated in equal amounts. The particles of each element are minute in size and mixed with alcohol to aid the bonding process. Tiny particles of the new alloy are produced in this mix. Each particle has a diameter of 10 nanometres.

New techniques - New metals
The techniques used to create the new alloy will be used to find alternatives of rare metals. This could spell a new era for industrial metals and prices, although the technology is questioned on whether it is commercially viable to produce such alloys.
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