Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Tri-continuous Mesoporous Silica Complex Structure Developed

Date:
April 5, 2009
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
Scientists have developed the first tri-continuous mesoporous material using a unique surfactant template. This completely new porous structure previously been predicted only mathematically.

Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) has developed the first tri-continuous mesoporous material using a unique surfactant template. This completely new porous structure previously been predicted only mathematically (see reference below).

In the current Nature Chemistry, the IBN scientists report that this novel material, named IBN-9 after the research institute, is the first hexagonal nanoscale construct with 3 unconnected interwoven channels. It is by far the most complex mesoporous nanostructure to have been synthesized in real-life and represents a new class of mesoporous materials, which consist of pores of 2-50 nanometers in size.

Mesoporous silica has well-defined nanochannel structures that are formed over templates via self-assembly processes. Mesoporous silica materials have huge surface areas, making them ideal for use as catalysts to facilitate chemical reactions. Their uniform nanometersized pores allow them to separate molecules by size difference. Their pores may also be used to trap drug molecules for controlled drug release. Therefore, the ability to tailor the pore structure of mesoporous material is of fundamental importance for various chemical and biological applications.

"IBN-9 demonstrates that it is possible to create three interwoven but independent pore channel systems along with a unique nano-fiber morphology," said Jackie Y. Ying, Ph.D., who led this research.

"Such a mesostructure makes distinct diffusion rates in different directions possible. This property would be very attractive for gas separation and drug delivery systems" added Dr. Ying, Executive Director of IBN, which is part of Singapore's A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research).

There has been tremendous interest about tailoring mesoporous materials with unique pore structures and pore sizes. The most complex of these were the bi-continuous structures, which contain two unconnected interwoven channels. These materials are synthesized via self-assembly of silica around surfactant templates.

IBN researchers successfully synthesized the first tri-continuous mesoporous structure by using a specially designed surfactant template, N,N-dimethyl-L-phenylalanine. This surfactant has a unique tunable head-group as well as a long hydrocarbon tail that has variable levels of hydrophobic (water-repellent) qualities. By systematically changing the synthesis conditions using this surfactant, IBN researchers are able to achieve structures with increasing mean curvatures from the bi-continuous cubic IBN-6 to the tri-continuous 3D hexagonal IBN-9, and finally to the 2D hexagonal IBN-10. The structural complexity of IBN-9 and its sister materials opens the possibility of creating even more complex multi-continuous mesostructures.

 

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Yu Han, Daliang Zhang, Leng Leng Chng, Junliang Sun, Lan Zhao, Xiaodong Zou & Jackie Y. Ying. A tri-continuous mesoporous material with a silica pore wall following a hexagonal minimal surface. Nature Chemistry, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.166
  2. S.T. Hyde and G.E. Schrφder. Novel surfactant mesostructural topologies: between lamellae and columnar (hexagonal) forms. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 2003; 8 (1): 5 DOI: 10.1016/S1359-0294(03)00014-1

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "First Tri-continuous Mesoporous Silica Complex Structure Developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090405185018.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2009, April 5). First Tri-continuous Mesoporous Silica Complex Structure Developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090405185018.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "First Tri-continuous Mesoporous Silica Complex Structure Developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090405185018.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 24, 2014) — General Electric keeps quiet on reports it's in talks to buy French turbine and train maker Alstom. Ivor Bennett reports on what could be an embarrassing rumour for the French government, with business-friendly reforms proving a hard sell. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins