But previous attempts to design these nanoparticles by changing their shape have failed because the structures are unstable and will revert back to their equilibrium shape.
Now, researchers at Northwestern University's Institute for Catalysis in Energy Processing have discovered a new strategy for fabricating metal nanoparticles in catalysts that promises to enhance the selectivity and yield for a wide range of structure-sensitive catalytic reactions.
The team, led by Laurence D. Marks, professor of materials science and engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, discovered that they could design nanoparticles by designing the particle’s support structure.
“Instead of trying to engineer the nanoparticles, we’ve engineered the substrate that the nanoparticle sits on,” Marks said. “That changes what faces are exposed.” Their results were published in February in the journal Nano Letters.
This solution was a bit of a discovery: the team created the nanoparticle samples, discovered that they didn’t change their shape (as the laws of thermodynamics caused previously designed nanoparticles to do), then set out figuring how it worked. It turns out that epitaxy — the relationship between the position of the atoms in the nanoparticle and the position of the atoms on the substrate — was more important to design than previously thought.
The team is currently testing the nanoparticles in a catalytic reactor, and early results look promising, Marks says. The nanoparticles appear to be stable enough to survive the rigors of long-term use as catalysts.
“It opens the door to designing better catalysts,” Marks said. “This method could be used with a variety of different metal nanoparticles. It’s a new strategy, and it could have a very big impact.”
The Nano Letters paper is titled "Oriented Catalytic Platinum Nanoparticles on High Surface Area Strontium Titanate Nanocuboids." The authors of the paper are James A. Enterkin (first author), Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier and Laurence D. Marks from Northwestern.
The Northwestern University Institute for Catalysis in Energy Processing, funded through the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Science, supported the research.
Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation
Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine