Nanomaterial Design Guided by the Principles of Green Chemistry
Greener nanoscience seeks to advance the beneficial applications of nanomaterials and minimize harm. To this end, we need to understand how nanomaterials interact with the environment and the causes of their biological impacts, and we need to develop new methods of production that address the limitations of discovery scale approaches. Green chemistry is an approach to the design of materials, processes and applications that has the potential to reduce hazards at each stage of the life cycle. I will describe how green chemistry can be applied to nanomaterials, nanosynthesis and nano-enabled products, with an emphasis on the design of next generation textiles with environmental benefits derived from nanomaterials.
Several nanomaterial classes will be described in this presentation. Gold nanoparticles are one of the most thoroughly studied nanomaterials classes with respect to nanomaterial performance, health and environmental impacts and greener design. I will summarize some of the key approaches to increase the net environmental benefit of gold nanoparticle materials through the design of precise nanoparticle structures and efficient production methods. Next, I will describe how these findings have been extended and applied to metal oxide nanocrystals, an important technological class of nanomaterials. Finally, I will describe how green nanoscience can be applied to the use of nanoparticles as surface coatings in nano-enabled fabrics. New insights developed through these studies, including strategies to increase the net societal and/or environmental benefits of nanotechnologies, will be presented.