New nanoporous material has highest surface area yet

March 9, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Michigan researchers have developed a nanoporous material with a surface area significantly higher than that of any other porous material reported to date.

The work, by a team led by associate professor of chemistry Adam Matzger, is described in a paper published online March 6 in the .

" is an important, that can affect the behavior of in processes ranging from the activity of catalysts to water detoxification to purification of hydrocarbons," Matzger said.

Until a few years ago, the upper limit for surface area of porous materials was thought to be around 3,000 square meters per gram. Then in 2004, a U-M team that included Matzger reported development of a material known as MOF-177 that set a new record. MOF-177 belonged to a new class of materials known as metal-organic frameworks---scaffold-like structures made up of metal hubs linked together with struts composed of . Just one gram of MOF-177 has the surface area of a football field.

"Pushing beyond that point has been difficult," Matzger said, but his group achieved the feat with the new material, UMCM-2 (University of Michigan Crystalline Material-2), which has a record-breaking surface area of more than 5,000 square meters per gram.

The researchers used a technique called coordination to produce the new material. Previously, they used the same method to create a similar material, UMCM-1, which was made up of six, microporous cage-like structures surrounding a large, hexagonal channel. By using a slightly different combination of ingredients, Matzger's group came up with UMCM-2, which is composed of fused cages of various sizes and does not have the channel found in UMCM-1.

"The new structure is a bit surprising and shows how the coordination copolymerization method has real potential for new materials discovery," Matzger said.

In the quest for new materials capable of compactly storing large amounts of hydrogen, researchers have assumed that increasing the surface area of porous materials will result in greater storage capacity. Interestingly, the hydrogen-holding ability of UMCM-2, while high, is no greater than that of existing materials in the same family, suggesting that surface area alone is not the key to hydrogen uptake. Even so, UMCM-2 is useful for helping define future research directions, Matzger said. "I think we needed this compound to demonstrate that high surface area alone is not enough for hydrogen storage."

More information: Journal of the American Chemical Society: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja809985t

Source: University of Michigan

Explore further: Crystal sponges excel at sopping up CO2

Related Stories

Crystal sponges excel at sopping up CO2

December 1, 2005

Since the Industrial Revolution, levels of carbon dioxide---a major contributor to the greenhouse effect---have been on the rise, prompting scientists to search for ways of counteracting the trend. One of the main strategies ...

Recommended for you

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

August 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination ...

Scientists grow high-quality graphene from tea tree extract

August 21, 2015

(Phys.org)—Graphene has been grown from materials as diverse as plastic, cockroaches, Girl Scout cookies, and dog feces, and can theoretically be grown from any carbon source. However, scientists are still looking for a ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Mar 09, 2009
Surfice area IS tremendously important in the storing of FREE ELECTRONS! If this material has such tremdous area it SHOULD be a vital use in the design of "chemical bateries" and "Super Cells"!
Only one question: IS IT CONDUCTIVE? how well?
NeilFarbstein
1 / 5 (1) Mar 10, 2009
If you get an answer to your question, let me know.
protn7@att.net
Ausjin
not rated yet Mar 10, 2009
When it comes to breakthroughs, such articles tend to state every possible advantage the author can think of. Conductivity is far too obvious to be overlooked.
RolfRomeo
not rated yet Mar 13, 2009
They need to put some in a bottle of diet-soda. Like now!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.