SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTS
NANODISPERSE SILICA AND SOME ASPECTS
OF NANOTECHNOLOGIES IN THE FIELD
OF SILICATE MATERIALS SCIENCE. PART 1
Yu. E. Pivinskii
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 11, pp. 44 – 55, November, 2007.
Original article submitted August 14, 2007.
Some general concepts concerning nanosystems, characteristics of their dispersions, and the main ways for
producing nanoparticles are considered. Main data on the silica-water system are presented. Recent informa
tion on the fabrication, properties, and use of various kinds of nanosilica, which is a leader in the world market
of nanomaterials, is considered as applied to the processes of production of ceramic, refractory, and building
materials. It is shown that the VKVS dispersion medium is a composite nanodisperse system.
Objects of nanosize scale (10
cm, 0.001 – 0.1 mm
or 1 – 100 nm) have attracted much interest in the recent
years. From the standpoint of the history of development of
science we can see that the events that have occurred at the
beginning of the 20th century repeat quite remarkably at the
start of the 21st century. At that time, Wolfgang Ostwald (the
eldest son of Wilhelm Ostwald, a physical chemist and
a Nobel Prize winner) applied the term “a world of by-passed
quantities” to the domain of material particles with sizes
ranging between the sizes of individual atoms and molecules
on one end and the sizes of macroscopic bodies on the other
end . The advances in colloid chemistry, which was a re
latively young science at the beginning of the 20th century
and is one of the ancestors of nanoscience, are connected
with the names of such prominent scientists as P. Zsigmondy
(Austria) and T. Svedberg [2, 3] (Sweden). Zsigmondy was
the first to construct a slot light microscope (1903) and to use
it for studying the Brownian motion of colloid particles.
In 1911 he studied the structure of gels and put forward a
theory of capillary condensation of steam in adsorbent pores
and developed methods for obtaining a sol of gold and co
lored glass. In 1912 he created an immersion ultramicro
scope and suggested a classification for colloid particles.
In 1925 Zsigmondy was awarded the Nobel Prize in che
mistry for determining the heterogeneous nature of colloidal
solutions. In 1907 T. Svedberg confirmed the theory of
Brownian motion experimentally and in 1919 created a
method of ultracentrifuging for separating colloid particles.
In 1923 Svedberg constructed ultracentrifuges for studying
highly disperse sols. In 1926 he was awarded the Nobel
Prize in chemistry for his work on dispersions.
However, the experimental methods of the time were not
efficient enough and researchers had to limit themselves to
studying relatively coarse (micron) particles. For this reason,
despite the fact that nanosize objects have been known since
the penultimate century, such notions as nanocluster,
nanostructure, and the related phenomena were merged into
a special field of physical chemistry only in the last decades
of the 20th century. This qualitative jump can be associated
with the progress in the research methods employing tunnel
and scanning microscopy, x-ray and optical methods, use of
synchrotron radiation, optical laser spectroscopy, etc. [4 – 6].
Unfortunately, the terms “nanotechnology” and “nano
materials” have become so fancy and marketable that many
traditional studies and developments are preceded by the pre
fix “nano.” Yu. D. Tret’yakov mentions in  that present
scientific society is experiencing a nanotechnological boom
that resembles the twenty-years-earlier boom connected with
the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity.
The following types of nanomaterials are distinguished
in accordance with the recommendations of the 7th Interna
tional Conference on Nanotechnologies (Wiesbaden, 2004):
nanoporous structures, nanoparticles, nanotubes and nano
fibers, nanodispersions (colloids), nanostructured surfaces
and films, and nanocrystals and nanoclusters. The latter are
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 48, No. 6, 2007
1083-4877/07/4806-0408 © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
“NVF KERAMBET-OGNEUPOR” Company, Russia.