Using sonochemistry for the fabrication of nanomaterials

Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1112 Scopus citations


One of the reasons for the huge interest in nanomaterials originated because of the prohibitive price that commercial companies have to pay for introducing new materials into the market. Nanotechnology enables these companies to obtain new properties using old and recognized materials by just reducing their particle size. For these known materials no government approval has to be obtained. Thus, the interest in nanomaterials has led to the development of many synthetic methods for their fabrication. Sonochemistry is one of the earliest techniques used to prepare nanosized compounds. Suslick [1], in his original work, sonicated Fe(CO)5 either as a neat liquid or in a decalin solution and obtained 10-20 nm size amorphous iron nanoparticles. A literature search that was conducted by crossing Sono* and Nanop* has found that this area is expanding almost exponentially. It started with two papers published in 1994, two in 1995, and increased to 59 papers in 2002. A few authors have already reviewed the fields of Sono and Nano. It should be mentioned that in 1996 [2], Suslick et al. published an early review on the nanostructured materials generated by ultrasound radiation. Suslick and Price [3] have also reviewed the application of ultrasound to materials science. This review [3] dealt with nanomaterials, but was not directed specifically to this topic. The review concentrated only on the sonochemistry of transition metal carbonyls and catalytic reactions that involve the nanoparticles resulting from their sonochemical decomposition. Grieser and Ashokkumar [4] have also written a review on a similar topic. A former coworker, Zhu, has recently submitted for publication a review article [5] entitled "Novel Methods for Chemical Preparation of Metal Chalcogenide Nanoparticles" in which he reviews three synthetic methods (sonochemistry, sonoelectrochemistry, and microwave heating) and their application in the synthesis of nanosized metal chalcogenides. Although still unpublished, I myself have recently written a review discussing novel methods (sonochemistry, microwave heating, and sonoelectrochemistry) for making nanosized materials [6]. The current review will: (1) Present the four main advantages that sonochemistry has over other methods related to materials science and nanochemistry; (2) concentrate on the more recent (2003) literature that was not reviewed in the previously-mentioned reviews, and (3) focus on a specific question, such as what is the typical shape of products obtained in sonochemistry? This review will not survey the literature related to sonoelectrochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


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