Small Size -- Huge Potential

Aug 24, 2010 By Karen A. Grava
Small fibers or rods of titanium oxide emanating from the manganese oxide-based template. Photo provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

(PhysOrg.com) -- A University of Connecticut chemistry professor's nanotechnology research will be useful in alternative fuel development.

A cover story in the September issue of Small, a prestigious nanotechnology journal, features a method developed by UConn chemistry professor Steven Suib for the production of a nano-sized that will be used for energy conservation.

The issue, to be published next month, reports on basic science research into a new material that could be used as a in development.

The nanomaterial, developed using Suib’s method, is tiny - smaller by far than even the head of a pin - and consists of two materials, one a template and the other a material that can grow around it in a well-ordered array. The growth can be controlled and uses to drive reactions such as the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Hollow rods of titanium oxide with the solid manganese oxide core removed. Photo provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The material can be a component of paint or can be applied to a surface, and will be useful in solar applications, says Suib, head of the chemistry department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The material acts as a catalyst in a process chemists call photocatalysis, which is the acceleration of a photoreaction in the presence of a catalyst.

One of the amazing things about the work is its incredibly small size - 100 nanometers. “It’s very hard to make materials this size,” Suib says, “as small antennas come in and out of a surface that small.”

Explore further: Tough foam from tiny sheets

More information: The article was published online in May.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Measuring Synthesis Intermediates for Better Materials

Nov 01, 2006

Involved in about 90 percent of all chemical processes and the creation of about 60 percent of the chemical products available on the market, catalysis is vital to American industries. Catalysis, the acceleration ...

Recommended for you

Tough foam from tiny sheets

17 hours ago

Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

Jul 28, 2014

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

Simulating the invisible

Jul 28, 2014

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Building 'invisible' materials with light

Jul 28, 2014

A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility ...

User comments : 0