Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technique uses household humidifier to create nanocomposite materials

29.03.2004


In what may sound like a project from a high school science fair, scientists are using a household humidifier to create porous spheres a hundred times smaller than a red blood cell. The technique is a new and inexpensive way to do chemistry using sound waves, the researchers say.



In the home, ultrasonic humidifiers are used to raise humidity, reduce static electricity and ease discomfort from the common cold or cough. In the lab, chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using the devices to make complex nanocomposite materials that could prove useful as catalysts in applications ranging from refining petroleum to making pharmaceuticals. The procedure is both simple and efficient.

"Normally, the chemical effects of ultrasound (called sonochemistry) are due to intense heating of small gas bubbles as they collapse in an otherwise cold liquid," said Kenneth S. Suslick, a William H. and Janet Lycan Professor of Chemistry at Illinois. "But in this case we are looking at using ultrasound to make very small liquid droplets and heating them while they are separated from one another in a heated gas. It’s the inverse of what we do sonochemically."


To create their novel nanocomposite materials, Suslick, graduate student Won Hyuk Suh and research fellow Yuri Didenko start with a solution of chemical reactants and surface-stabilizing surfactants. The solution is turned into a mist using a high-frequency ultrasound generator – an ordinary household ultrasonic humidifier the researchers purchased at a local discount store.

The resulting droplets are carried by a gas stream into a furnace, where the solvent evaporates and the chemicals coalesce into inorganic-organic composite materials nanometers in size. The particles are carried to a second, hotter furnace, where the organic part burns away, leaving behind porous inorganic nanospheres. These nanospheres are then trapped in a liquid and collected by centrifuge. The entire formation process takes only a few seconds.

"Each tiny droplet serves as its own microscopic chemical reactor," Suh said. "The micron-size mist results in particles a few hundred nanometers in size."

Among the materials the chemists have created with their ultrasound induced mists are porous nanospheres that could be useful for catalytic reactions, and encapsulated nanoparticles with potential drug delivery applications. They also have formed metal balls within ceramic shells, reminiscent of decorative, hand-carved concentric ivory spheres from China. The nested nanoballs could prove useful as molecular sieves.


"Because the outer sphere is porous, we can selectively dissolve some of the core, which frees the inner ball from the shell," said Suh, who will describe and present early results from the pyrolysis generated porous nanospheres at the 227th American Chemical Society national meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Suh’s presentation will take place in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center.

The National Science Foundation funded the work.

James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu/

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light
05.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>