What is a nanomaterial?

What is a nanomaterial? Since October of the last year European Union gave us the definition:

A natural, incidental or manufactured material containing particles, in an unbound state or as an aggregate or as an agglomerate and where, for 50 % or more of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions is in the size range 1 nm – 100 nm.

In specific cases and where warranted by concerns for the environment, health, safety or competitiveness the number size distribution threshold of 50 % may be replaced by a threshold between 1 and 50 %.

By derogation from the above, fullerenes, graphene flakes and single wall carbon nanotubes with one or more external dimensions below 1 nm should be considered as nanomaterials.

More info here:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/nanotech/index.htm

The full FAQ can be found here:

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/704&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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About Francesco Buonocore

Francesco Buonocore is an Italian solid state theoretical physicist, staff scientist of the Italian government agency ENEA. Francesco likes Physics, thinking about Physics and how Physics and life are related.
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