Crystal Growth of Nanoporous Materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

We propose the most fundamental, ambitious and concerted, multi-disciplinary investigation into the understanding of crystal growth and rational design of open framework, nano-porous materials yet attempted. We believe the findings from this study will mark a major leap forward into our understanding of crystal growth and our ability to exploit our understanding to produce new materials with unique properties and applications. Extensive studies on the synthesis of porous materials have been carried out. However, the majority of this synthetic work has been aimed primarily at either (i) the discovery of new structures, (ii) modification or improvement of existing materials or (iii) process development to enable such materials to be produced successfully on a large scale. The effort so far on synthesis and crystallisation mechanism has yielded many positive results but also many unanswered questions, for example: (i) the detailed mechanism of nucleation (ii) the identity of growth species and (iii) whether nanocrystal growth occurs by addition or aggregation. This research involves the application of a powerful set of complementary techniques to the study of crystal growth of open-framework materials comprising: atomic force microscopy, high resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopies, in-situ NMR with enhanced data processing, X-ray diffraction and mass spectrometry. A substantially better understanding of the synthesis process is likely to yield important economic benefits, for example, better process control, increased efficiency in reagent usage, improved reproducibility and the capacity to modify or tailor products for specific applications. Perhaps most important of all would be the ability to identify successful synthetic routes to as-yet unknown structures and compositions which have been predicted on theoretical grounds to have beneficial characteristics. Such a step forward to a new level of primary understanding would open the way to innovative applications in chemistry, physics (ordered arrays) and biomaterials.

Publications

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Holden MA (2010) In situ crystal growth of nanoporous zincophosphate observed by atomic force microscopy. in Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)

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John NS (2010) Evolution of surface morphology with introduction of stacking faults in zeolites. in Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

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Meza LI (2007) Differentiating fundamental structural units during the dissolution of zeolite A. in Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)

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N/a Brent (2008) Fundamental Crystal Growth Mechanism in Zeolite L Revealed by AFM in Angewandte Chemie International Edition

 
Description We have developed new software for the understanding of crystal growth
Exploitation Route Any scientists who grow crystals could use our findings
Sectors Chemicals,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.cnm.manchester.ac.uk/afm-images.htm
 
Description Exxonmobil Research and Engineering Co 
Organisation ExxonMobil
Department ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company
Country United States 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Lund University 
Organisation Lund University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
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Description Stockholm University 
Organisation Stockholm University
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
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Description University of Versailles St Quentin 
Organisation Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2006