Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

If solubilty is the problem - Mechanochemistry is the solution

25.05.2018

Chemists from TU Dresden synthesize supersized nanographenes with ball milling

Chemist Dr. Lars Borchardt and his team at TU Dresden recently achieved a huge breakthrough in the synthesis of nanographenes. Because of their unique electrical, thermal and mechanical characteristics, the carbon modification graphene and its little brothers the nanographenes are known as a very promising material for applications in electronics, sensor technology and energy storage.


Mechanical energy provided by the collision of milling ball in planetary ball mills allows to synthesize nanographene structures under environmentally friendly and solvent-free reaction conditions.

Sven Grätz

However, since the synthesis of nanographenes and graphene nanoribbons is still rather expensive and environmentally unsustainable, there are only few industrial applications. Dr. Borchardt’s innovative method of a mechanochemical synthesis of nanographenes has certainly paved the way for a safer, simpler and more sustainable route for the synthesis of alternative electronic and solar energy materials.

Ball mills instead of solvents – this is the starting point of the research of Dr. Lars Borchardt and his junior research group „Mechanocarb“ at the Faculty of Chemistry and Food Chemistry at TU Dresden since 2015. The group is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Reserach (BMBF) and is a project of the funding initiative „Materialforschung für die Energiewende“.

Their joint aim is to establish mechanochemistry as a resource-, energy- and time-efficient synthesis method towards carbon-based electrode materials. PhD student Sven Grätz recently succeeded once more in proving that they are on the right track: the results of his dissertation on the mechanochemical Scholl reaction were published in the renowned online journal Chemical Communications.

It may seem paradoxal to imagine that the destructive forces of a ball mill can help creating complex molecules. However, Borchardt and his team have done just that. Highly aromatic molecular systems (highly aromatic in chemistry means systems with a high number of conjugated bonds that are very stable) such as nanographenes are known for their poor solubility. Therefore, they are difficult to synthesize in traditional chemical methods, which require a solvent.

The Borchardt group exclusively works with the intense mechanical forces of ball mills. The huge forces in the mills initiate a chemical reaction in which a hexaphenylbenzene precursor is converted into a completly aromatic system. Not only does this method represent a much simpler, safer and more sustainable alternative to conventional chemical syntheses, it also opens up new ways: „We can also broaden the feasibility of this famous reaction towards molecules that are insoluble, “ explains Borchardt.

The TUD scientists managed to synthesize the triangular shaped C60 as well as C222 benchmark nanographenes within very short time and with comparably little effort. Now they continue their mechanochemical research with the aim of producing even larger molecules such as graphene nanoribbons which are adaptable for application. The recent findings of the Borchardt group will certainly contribute new aspects to the search for new electronic and solar energy material and also to resolving some of the hindrances of chemical synthesis by eliminating solvents.

Original publication:
S Grätz et al, Chem. Commun., 2018, DOI: 10.1039/c8cc01993b (This article is free to access until 12 June 2018.)

Media inquiries:
Dr. Lars Borchardt
Tel.: 0351 46334960
E-Mail: lars.borchardt@tu-dresden.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.borchardt-group.com

Kim-Astrid Magister | Technische Universität Dresden
Further information:
http://www.tu-dresden.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Detect cell changes faster
27.02.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht Preserved and fresh – Neutrons show details of the freeze drying process
27.02.2020 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explained: Why water droplets 'bounce off the walls'

27.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Existing drugs may offer a first-line treatment for coronavirus outbreak

27.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Rare lizard fossil preserved in amber

27.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>