Astronomically, nanosilicates are intermediates in cosmic dust grain formation around evolved stars and make up a significant mass fraction of the dust grain population in the interstellar medium (ISM). Important open issues regarding these nanospecies include: i) their role in dust formation/processing in the ISM, ii) their astrochemical importance (e.g. molecular hydrogen formation, seeds for ice growth), and iii) their potential to explain the anomalous microwave emission.
Terrestrially, nanosilicates take part in mineral nucleation, growth and dissolution. Technologically, these species also lay at the heart of the debate concerning the pre- and post-nucleated regime of important nanoporous silicate materials (e.g. zeolites) during hydrothermal synthesis