Boris Kharisov, Oxana Kharissova and Ubaldo Ortiz-Mendez

CRC Press

2012 | 836 pp | £127 (HB)

ISBN 9781439853436 

This somewhat unusual book aims to give near-encyclopaedic coverage of the nanostructures not widely discussed in the literature (focusing on those described in fewer than 100 publications). I approached this book with some scepticism – a comprehensive treatment of nanostructures will age quickly as the field is still developing and new materials are constantly being reported. I also felt that using shape as the main descriptor will make it difficult to discuss a nanostructure’s electronic and chemical properties, which strongly depend on composition. However, this book proved more than just a collection of unusual shapes. 

The book starts with a critical discussion of nanostructure synthesis. This concise description is very valuable and will be of use to any scientist working with nanomaterials. The subsequent chapters describe the preparation and properties of nanostructures of different shapes and sizes. The range of morphologies is very impressive, and the book is very well illustrated. Unfortunately, the figures are all black and white. The accompanying CD contains colour illustrations, but I doubt many readers will reach for their computers to view them.

In the second half, the authors describe selected topics in nanotechnology, with a particular emphasis on carbon-based structures (nanotubes, graphene, diamond, fullerenes), metals and metal alloys. Although the topic choice is somewhat arbitrary, these chapters present a well-referenced, scholarly discussion with comprehensive coverage of the selected topics.

The book will be a useful resource for materials scientists, particularly those interested in carbon or metal-based nanostructures, and I applaud the authors’ efforts to collect and collate this vast amount of information. However, many chapters are very similar to reviews previously published by these authors, and in some cases the references do not go beyond 2008. I therefore fear that its encyclopaedic coverage will soon become outdated.

Purchase Handbook of less common nanostructures from