Controlling the size of nanoclusters

August 19, 2008,

Melissa Patterson, a W. Burghardt Turner Fellow at Stony Brook University (SBU), will give a talk at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in Philadelphia on controlling the size of nanoclusters, research she performed using a new instrument at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Built by Brookhaven Lab and SBU scientists, the instrument enables researchers to make nanoclusters of 10 to 100 atoms with atomic precision.

Patterson and her Brookhaven colleagues created model nanocatalysts of molybdenum sulfide, the first step in developing the next generation of materials to be used in hydrodesulfurization, a process that removes sulfur, a pollutant, from natural gas and petroleum products. They made size-selected molybdenum sulfide nanoclusters as gaseous ions, and deposited them on a gold surface, which interacts weakly with the gold support, leaving the nanoclusters intact.

"We learned that even though we were using the same molecule — all were composed of molybdenum and sulfur — size and structure is important in determining reactivity," Patterson said. "The most reactive nanocluster of those that we tested had six atoms of molybdenum and eight atoms of sulfur. It readily absorbed sulfur and let go of carbon monoxide, which makes it an effective catalyst."

Brookhaven Lab chemist Michael White and Brookhaven research associates YongMan Choi and Ping Liu collaborated with Patterson on this work. DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, within the Office of Science, funded this research through the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative.

Patterson’s talk, titled “Size-selected deposition of transition metal sulfides: Insights toward model systems in catalysis,” is scheduled to be given on Tuesday, August 19, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Provided by Brookhaven National Laboratory

Explore further: New findings boost promise of molybdenum sulfide for hydrogen catalysis

Related Stories

Shining a light on water-splitting reactions

December 17, 2015

As a youth, Eric Isaacs moved from the Midwest to the West Coast. He went from there to the East Coast for his doctoral studies. But he traveled less than 70 miles for his 2013 practicum.

Recommended for you

Reinventing the inductor

February 21, 2018

A basic building block of modern technology, inductors are everywhere: cellphones, laptops, radios, televisions, cars. And surprisingly, they are essentially the same today as in 1831, when they were first created by English ...

Researchers create first superatomic 2-D semiconductor

February 16, 2018

Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter—at least, that is the conventional picture. In a new study, researchers have fabricated the first superatomic 2-D semiconductor, a material whose basic units aren't atoms ...

0 comments

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.