Nanomaterials and, in particular, nanoparticles are at the forefront of the nanotechnology wave. Over recent years there has been a rapid increase in the range of available nanomaterials and the number of companies that supply them. A variety of production techniques is used, each with benefits and drawbacks, but these are being improved all the time. The current and potential applications for nanoparticles are growing and cover an extremely broad range of markets. Analysts have estimated that the size of the market will be $900 million in 2005 and $11 billion in 2010. This is causing a great deal of interest among companies, but there are still a number of hurdles to be overcome before the potential of nanoparticles is fully realized.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(03)00022-1