This paper reviews important research on chemical and electrochemical synthesis and application of nanoparticles, especially our recent results in this field: (i) catalytic metal nanoparticles for micro-fuel cells, (ii) magnetic oxide nanoparticles for drug delivery systems, and (iii) magnetic metal nanoparticles for magnetic recording media. To fulfill the requirements of each application, we chose and modified those synthetic methods for obtaining suitable properties, e.g., morphology, catalytic activity, and magnetic properties, (i) For micro-fuel cells, electrodeposition is attractive because of its selective deposition onto current collectors and possible elimination of an annealing process. As a result, we have successfully synthesized Pt, PtRu alloy, and PdCo alloy, which consisted of dendritic structures macroscopically and of interconnected nanoparticles microscopically, (ii) For drug delivery systems, since magnetic nanoparticles should possess ferromagnetism, be dispersible in water, and be nontoxic, Fe3O4 nanoparticles synthesized by hydrolysis in aqueous media are suitable. As a result, we have successfully controlled the size (10-40 nm in diameter) and the magnetic properties of Fe3O4 nanoparticles by means of adjusting the molar ratio of ferrous to ferric ions in the precursor solution, (iii) For magnetic recording materials, since magnetic nanoparticles should possess high coercivity, a controlled shape, and a uniform small size, we have modified a chemical method for synthesizing FePt by adjusting the growth temperature. As a result, we have succeeded in synthesizing FePt nanoparticles with a controlled shape (cubic) and a uniform size (ca. 5.6 nm).
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