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Controlled Synthesis of Nanoparticles in Microheterogeneous Systems. By Vincenzo Turco Liveri

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Controlled Synthesis of
Nanoparticles in
Microheterogeneous Systems
By Vincenzo Turco
Liveri. Springer,
New York 2006.
167 pp., hardcover
$ 79.95.—ISBN
The book Controlled Synthesis of Nanoparticles in Microheterogeneous Systems,
by Vincenzo Turco Liveri, crosses the
boundaries of physical, theoretical, and
inorganic chemistry, with the aim of
discussing and reaching a better understanding of nanoparticle synthesis in the
context of microheterogeneous systems.
The aspects covered in the book are the
structural and dynamic properties of
micellar systems formed by surfactants,
thermodynamic and kinetic considerations of the growth of nanoparticles,
factors that inhibit growth, and the
resulting size distribution and the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles
caused by quantum size effects. Some
methods used for the synthesis of nanoparticles are described in the last chapter of the book.
The field is currently a focus of
intensive research, and is attracting
increasing interest from both fundamental and applied points of view. Although
there have been some reviews, the
subject of microheterogeneous systems
for controlled nanoparticle synthesis has
not previously been treated comprehensively in book form. This book is the first
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 6949 – 6950
attempt, so far as I know, to respond to
the current demand for a comprehensive survey of knowledge in the area of
synthesis in confined volumes. In fact, a
large amount of information is now
available under the “umbrella” of the
title of the book. In tackling this ambitious and challenging task, the author
faces difficulties in trying to cover the
subject in a consistent way. The chapters
of the book deal with different areas,
and are linked more by the author&s
overall view of the subject than by a
clear relationship between individual
The author starts by considering
micellar systems as a reservoir for the
synthesis of nanoparticles. The term
covers different arrangements of surfactants, including micelles, reverse
micelles, and the mono- and multilayers
known as Langmuir–Blodgett films.
These systems provide a powerful tool
to construct a confined environment,
with limited diffusion and mobility, for
the synthesis of nanoparticles. The various systems described in the book
constitute a very useful resource for
designing microheterogeneous systems
for specific purposes. However, many
other systems that have been developed
for controlled synthesis of nanoparticles
are not mentioned. Vesicles of block
copolymers, and polyelectrolyte multilayers and capsules, have been used as
containers for the synthesis of nanoparticles. With these systems it is possible to estimate the amount and density
of ions adsorbed on charged groups, and
the kinetics of diffusion can also be
investigated. Much work along these
lines has been done by groups at MIT
(Boston) and at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces (Potsdam, Germany).
The contents of the book are well
organized and easily accessible through
the table of contents. In particular, the
theoretical considerations about identifying the parameters that govern nucleation and growth in confined spaces
should be of use for scientists and
students interested in mechanisms of
particle formation.
Chapter 1 is on the rather old topic
of molecular ensembles of surfactants.
Chapters 2 and 3 explain clearly the
author&s views about how the nanoparticle grows, and the factors that govern
its main physical and chemical properties. The last chapter is on methods of
Different categories of readers will
concentrate on the chapters that interest
them most. With regard to the usefulness of the book as a whole, despite the
fact that it does not give experimental
procedures, researchers who are working on the problem of how the particle is
formed might be stimulated to concentrate efforts on what determines its
Researchers working in the area
would like to be given more information
about how the theoretical considerations of nucleation and growth of nanoparticles in confined spaces that are
described in Chapter 2 correlate with
the numerous experimental observations described in Chapter 4. In fact,
the theoretical and methodological
aspects of the book are not well integrated. Readers of the book will be
disappointed that there is no discussion
about how the micro- and nanosized
container should be formed to provide
the conditions for tailored synthesis of
nanoparticles. Such information is difficult to find from the widely scattered
reports in the literature. My impression
of Chapter 4 is that it merely lists
current experimental studies, without a
systematic analysis of how the results
might enable scientists to gain a better
understanding of the process by which
nanoparticles are synthesized. If it had
presented results from observations of
nanoparticles by electron microscopy
and other experimental techniques, the
book would have enabled readers to get
a better overview of how different
methods of particle synthesis lead to
different structures, and what are the
main driving forces of the process. The
book lacks graphs, diagrams, and tables
to illustrate different approaches to
particle synthesis.
Unfortunately, biological microheterogeneous systems for the synthesis
of nanoparticles are only mentioned
very briefly. There are plenty of examples in nature of inorganic nanoparticles
being formed inside biological organisms. Magnetic nanoparticles play an
important role in navigation by migrating birds. There are many other examples where microsized voids become
filled by the growth of inorganic materi-
% 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
als with nanosized features. Professor S.
Mann and co-workers (Bristol, UK)
have carried out extensive studies in
this field of bioinorganic synthesis. Naturally, the topic of synthesis of particles
in confined volumes in biological systems is rather broad, and could not be
covered easily in such a book, but to
merely touch on the topic without
referring to reviews on the topic might
give the false impression that there has
so far been little intensive research on
synthesis in biological microheterogeneous systems. I believe that a more
detailed and thorough description of
such systems in nature would inspire
the design of artificial systems to mimic
those processes, and would be of interest
% 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
to readers of a book that claims to cover
the subject comprehensively.
Gleb B. Sukhorukov
Department of Materials
Queen Mary University of London (UK)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200685415
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 6949 – 6950
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vincenzo, synthesis, livers, turcz, controller, microheterogeneity, system, nanoparticles
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