Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Embedded Rods

11.10.2010
Chitin-silicon dioxide nanocomposite made by self-organization and sol-gel chemistry

Self-organization processes involving chemical building blocks are the basis for many biological processes and are increasingly of interest in the field of materials synthesis, for example in the production of highly ordered nanocomposites or high-porosity materials with special properties.

In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Bruno Alonso and Emmanuel Belamie from the Charles Gerhardt Institute in Montpellier (France) have introduced a novel, highly versatile approach to the large-scale synthesis of a new family of bioorganic–inorganic nanocomposites—with a previously unattainable degree of control over the composition and structure of the materials produced.

Nanocomposites are solid materials made of different substances, one of which is in the form of nanoparticles. The properties of the composites differ significantly from those of the pure individual components. Nanocomposites can also serve as “molds” for the production of porous substances. These have potential application in the areas of gas storage, catalysis, or materials separation.

For their synthesis, the researchers chose to use a sol–gel process, a popular technique for the production of inorganic network structures. In the first step they needed to generate a sol: a suspension of finely divided nanoscopic particles in a solvent. Their challenge was to obtain co-suspension of the two different components, silicon dioxide precursors (siloxane oligomers) and chitin nanorods from shrimp shells (a renewable resource). However, these two components require different conditions to remain in stable suspensions without uncontrolled precipitation. The researchers produced an alcohol suspension by slowly replacing water with ethanol. Through slow removal of the solvent, a gel formed. Gels are gelatinous substances; they contain solid but loose, cross-linked, three-dimensional polymer structures.

The sol can be “poured” into a desired mold and dried or it can be spray-dried into spherical particles. This process results in a nanocomposite made of chitin rods that are fully embedded in a silicon dioxide matrix. The mechanism by which this occurs is based on a self-organized aggregation of the chitin molecules and weak attractive forces between chitin and siloxane oligomers.

The stability of the alcohol suspensions opens up a wide range of possibilities for the production of materials with controllable volume ratios, spatial arrangements, and morphologies. If a magnetic field is applied during preparation of the material, the chitin rods line up in parallel. If the nanocomposite is heated, the chitin rods can be burned off to leave behind cavities. This forms a highly porous material with interesting properties.

Author: Emmanuel Belamie, Institut Charles Gerhardt, Montpellier (France), mailto:emmanuel.belamie@enscm.fr

Title: Chitin–Silica Nanocomposites by Self-Assembly

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201002104

Emmanuel Belamie | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>