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Magnesium Oxide (MgO) Nanoparticles – Properties and Applications

Nanomaterials with diameters of <100 nm are being used in a number of applications across multiple domains such as biology, physics, chemistry, cosmetics, optical components, polymer science, pharmaceutical drug manufacture, toxicology, and mechanical engineering.

This article discusses the properties and applications of magnesium oxide nanoparticles. Magnesium is a Block S, Period 3 element, while oxygen is a Block P, Period 2 element. Magnesium can be commercially produced from carnallite, brucite, magnesite, olivine and talc.

Magnesium oxide nanoparticles are odorless and non-toxic. They possess high hardness, high purity and a high melting point. Magnesium oxide nanoparticles appear in a white powder form.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of magnesium oxide nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.

Chemical Data
Chemical symbol MgO
CAS No. 1309-48-4
Group Magnesium 2
Oxygen 16
Electronic configuration Magnesium [Ne] 3s2
Oxygen [He] 2s2 2p4
Chemical Composition
Element Content (%)
Magnesium 60.29
Oxygen 39.67

Physical Properties

The physical properties of magnesium oxide nanoparticles are given in the following table.

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 3.58 g/cm3 0.129 lb/in3
Molar mass 40.30 g/mol

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of magnesium oxide nanoparticles are provided in the table below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Melting point 2852°C 5166°F
Boiling point 3600°C 6512°F

Manufacturing Process

Magnesium oxide nanoparticles can be prepared using the hydroxide precipitation process, which is followed by thermal decomposition of the hydroxide. MgO can be characterized by X-ray powder diffraction and scanning electron microscopes.


Magnesium oxide nanoparticles can be applied in electronics, catalysis, ceramics, petrochemical products, coatings and many other fields. Magnesium oxide nanoparticles can be used along with wood chips and shavings to make materials such as sound-proof, light-weight, heat-insulating and refractory fiber board and metallic ceramics.

The potential applications of magnesium oxide nanoparticles are as follows:

  • High-temperature dehydrating agent used for the production of silicon steel sheet, high-grade ceramic material, electronic industry material, adhesive and additive in the chemical raw material
  • Electric insulating material for making crucible, smelter, insulated conduit, electrode bar, and electrode sheet
  • High-frequency magnetic-rod antenna, magnetic device filler, insulating material filler and various carriers used in radio industry
  • As a fire retardant used for chemical fiber and plastics trades
  • In refractory fiber and refractory material, magnesite-chrome brick, filler for refractory coating, refractory and insulating instrument, electricity, cable, optical material, material for steel-smelting furnace and other high- temperature furnaces, heating material and ceramic base plate
  • Fuel additive, cleaner, antistatic agent and corrosion inhibitor

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