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 Beyond conventional solution-process for 2-D heterostructure
22.06.2018 | Science China Press

nachricht Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film
22.06.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>