Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The spectacular diversity of nanoporous crystals

05.01.2016

Scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Universität Leipzig have discovered a unique behavior in the transport of molecules in nanoporous materials. They disproved the validity of a decades-old unquestioned assumption and demonstrated that each individual nanoporous crystal behaves differently. This finding may radically alter future research in the field, as current conventional techniques are based on this invalid assumption. The fruits of this international collaboration have been published in the prestigious journal Nature Materials.

Nanoporous materials, like zeolites or metal-organic frameworks, contain pores with a size of less than one millionth of a (milli-)meter, in which molecules can be stored or converted into other molecules.

They are of great importance for our society, finding widespread applications, for example as environment-friendly catalysts to accelerate the chemical conversion of molecules into useful products, (and) as molecular sponges in the purification of gases and liquids, for CO2 capture or even in medical applications.

The development and improvement of such practical applications crucially depends on the understanding of the mechanisms of molecular transport within the nanopores. The rate of chemical reactions in these nanopores is largely controlled by the transport rate.

Since nanoporous crystals are constructed from identical building blocks, researchers have always believed that the mechanism and rate of molecular transport is identical for different crystals of the same family.

In their research towards the sustainable recovery and purification of bio-alcohols as an alternative for chemicals derived from petroleum, the team of Prof. Joeri Denayer and Dr. Julien Cousin-Saint-Remi (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) joined forces with the group of Professor Jörg Kärger (Universität Leipzig), to obtain fundamental insight in the transport mechanisms of alcohol molecules in the SAPO-34 nanoporous solid.

By means of advanced micro-imaging techniques, developed by Prof. Jörg Kärger, it could be visualized how alcohol molecules are migrating through individual crystals. For the first time, it was demonstrated that the transport rate varies with orders of magnitude amongst seemingly identical crystals.

This observation not only sheds a whole new light on conflicting or inconsistent results that were reported previously, but it is also of large importance with respect to the development of more efficient chemical processes.

The classical methods to study molecular transport only allow characterizing the average behavior of a large amount of crystals, which could potentially lead to erroneous conclusions with respect to the transport mechanism and material properties.

The results of this joint work may help other researchers to better understand diffusion mechanisms in nanoporous materials. The detailed study of individual crystals will contribute to the development of new and better materials.

The publication with original title “The role of crystal diversity in understanding mass transfer in nanoporous materials” can be found online on the website of the journal Nature Materials: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmat4510.

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Julien Cousin-Saint-Remi
Department of Chemical Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Elsene, Belgium
+32.2.629.33.18
jcousins@vub.ac.be

Prof. Joeri F.M. Denayer
Department of Chemical Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Elsene, Belgium
+32.2.629.17.98
joeri.denayer@vub.ac.be

Prof. Jörg Kärger
Fakultät für Physik und Geowissenschaften, Universität Leipzig
Linnéstrasse 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
+49.341.97.32502
kaerger@physik.uni-leipzig.de

Prof. Jürgen Haase
Fakultät für Physik und Geowissenschaften, Universität Leipzig
Linnéstrasse 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
+49.341.97.32601
j.haase@physik.uni-leipzig.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat4510.html

Susann Huster | Universität Leipzig
Further information:
http://www.uni-leipzig.de

Further reports about: crystals nanopores nanoporous materials purification

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

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,...

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

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>