Review

Nanominerals, Mineral Nanoparticles, and Earth Systems

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Science  21 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5870, pp. 1631-1635
DOI: 10.1126/science.1141134

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Abstract

Minerals are more complex than previously thought because of the discovery that their chemical properties vary as a function of particle size when smaller, in at least one dimension, than a few nanometers, to perhaps as much as several tens of nanometers. These variations are most likely due, at least in part, to differences in surface and near-surface atomic structure, as well as crystal shape and surface topography as a function of size in this smallest of size regimes. It has now been established that these variations may make a difference in important geochemical and biogeochemical reactions and kinetics. This recognition is broadening and enriching our view of how minerals influence the hydrosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere.

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