Miniaturization is the watchword of progress. Nanoscience - building structures on the scale of a few atoms - has long been at the forefront of chemistry for some time now. Recently, researchers at The University of Tokyo developed the new strategy to construct the subnanosized metal aggregates, building up small metal clusters into grander 3-D architectures. Their creations could have real industrial value.
Nanochemistry offers a range of classic design shapes, such as cubes, rods, wires, and even "nanoflakes," all built from atom clusters.
The team at Uni Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) builds nanosheets from the noble metal palladium (Pd). In a new study, they threaded these 2-D building blocks into a distinctive 3-D design.
A smart way to make nanosheets is using templates - organic molecules that act as a framework for the metal atoms. Moving beyond purely organic templates, the IIS team used an organosilicon, a molecule based on three silicon atoms, to construct a bent or "butterfly-shaped" sheet of four Pd atoms. These metals were stabilized by bonding with benzene rings dangling from the silicons.
"Looking at the structure of the Pd4 molecule, we saw the potential to link together multiple sheets of this kind through chemical linkers," says Kento Shimamoto, co-author of the study in Chemistry - A European Journal. "Given the right template, we reasoned, we could expand the dimensionality of our cluster from a 2-D sheet into the third dimension."
Building stable nanoclusters, even in 2-D, is not easy - due to the lack of the appropriate template moleclues that pushes the metal species into close proximity.
However, metal centers can be linked stably together, while maintaining a comfortable distance, through the use of bridging atoms like chlorine. The resulting clusters often have unique chemical properties as a result of metal - metal interactions.
The team therefore chose a new organosilicon template with two chlorine atoms replacing part of the organic region. Reacting the palladium source with this new template produced not a 2-D sheet, but a 3-D cluster containing six Pd atoms. The metals apparently formed a pair of Pd4 tetrahedra (sharing two atoms), bridged by chlorine, which forced the Pd atoms close enough to bond with each other.
"3-D subnanoclusters have real potential as catalysts and functional materials," says lead author Yusuke Sunada. "But their function strongly depends on precise control of their shape. Organosilicons are readily available, and offer a platform for designing diverse architectures - linking multiple clusters into larger molecules - in an industrially feasible way."
"Dimensionality Expansion of Butterfly-shaped Pd4 Framework: Constructing Edge-Sharing Pt6 Tetrahedra," was published in Chemistry - A European Journal at DOI: 10.1002/chem.201805678.
About Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo
Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo is one of the largest university-attached research institutes in Japan.
More than 120 research laboratories, each headed by a faculty member, comprise IIS, with more than 1,000 members including approximately 300 staff and 700 students actively engaged in education and research. Our activities cover almost all the areas of engineering disciplines. Since its foundation in 1949, IIS has worked to bridge the huge gaps that exist between academic disciplines and real-world applications.
To proliferate or not to proliferate
21.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Discovery of a Primordial Metabolism in Microbes
21.03.2019 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum
For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
21.03.2019 | Life Sciences
21.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2019 | HANNOVER MESSE