Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Red-Hot Research Could Lead To New Materials

Date:
April 11, 2009
Source:
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Summary:
Recent experiments to create a fast-reacting explosive by concocting it at the nanoscopic level could result in more spectacular firework displays. But more impressive to the researchers, the method used to mix chemicals at that tiny scale could lead to new strong porous materials for high temperature applications, from thermal insulation in jet engines to industrial chemical reactors.

Two versions of the aerogel -- the RF-only version (left) and the mixed version (right).
Credit: Image courtesy of Missouri University of Science and Technology

Recent experiments to create a fast-reacting explosive by concocting it at the nanoscopic level could result in more spectacular firework displays. But more impressive to the Missouri University of Science and Technology professor who led the research, the method used to mix chemicals at that tiny scale could lead to new strong porous materials for high temperature applications, from thermal insulation in jet engines to industrial chemical reactors.

Researchers led by Dr. Nicholas Leventis, a professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T, reported in the April 8 Journal of the American Chemical Society that they created a new type of flammable nanomaterial by combining an oxidizer (copper oxide) with an organic fuel (a resorcinol-formaldehyde polymer, or RF). Nanomaterials are made from substances that are one billionth of a meter – the size of a few molecules. This achievement has been highlighted in the online edition of Nature Chemistry.

The new nanomaterial burned rapidly when ignited by a flame, leaving behind minimal residue, Nature Chemistry’s April 3 Research Highlights section reported on the Leventis research.

While the Leventis research is based on the hypothesis that the performance of so-called low-order explosives such as gunpowder can be improved by mixing the oxidizer and fuel as closely as possible – at the nano level, nanoparticle to nanoparticle – Leventis is more excited about the “very far-reaching implications” of the experiment.

“The broader impact of this research is in the methodology of making intimate mixtures of nanoparticles that can react efficiently and fast. That will most certainly lead to future innovations in materials science. Energetic materials is just an example,” he says.

Mixing materials at the nano level may lead to stronger substances, because the two materials may be more closely woven together. Leventis sees this approach leading to such materials engineering breakthroughs as the development of microporous ceramics that can hold up under extremely high temperatures.

The more immediate application of this research could be in pyrotechnics, Leventis explains. Fireworks are considered low-order explosives, meaning that their reaction rate can be improved by mixing the oxidizer and fuel as closely as possible.

With this research, Leventis and his Missouri S&T colleagues worked with Dr. Hongbing Lu, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Oklahoma State University, to create a fluffy, low-density mixed aerogel from the copper oxide and the RF nanoparticles.

To make the mixed network of nanoparticles, the researchers devised a one-pot sol-gel method, in which they used the gelling colloidal solution (“sol”) of one component (copper oxide) as the catalyst for the gelation of the second component (RF). In the final product, copper oxide acted as the fuse to catalyze, or ignite, the RF fuel.

The research was originally published March 17 in the online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Working with Leventis at S&T were Dr. Chariklia Sotirou-Leventis, professor of chemistry, and Naveen Chandrasekaran and Anand G. Sadekar, both graduate students in chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Missouri University of Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Leventis et al. One-Pot Synthesis of Interpenetrating Inorganic/Organic Networks of CuO/Resorcinol-Formaldehyde Aerogels: Nanostructured Energetic Materials. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009; 131 (13): 4576 DOI: 10.1021/ja809746t
  2. Neil Withers. Energetic materials: Burn baby burn. Nature Chemistry, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.205

Cite This Page:

Missouri University of Science and Technology. "Red-Hot Research Could Lead To New Materials." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090409152740.htm>.
Missouri University of Science and Technology. (2009, April 11). Red-Hot Research Could Lead To New Materials. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090409152740.htm
Missouri University of Science and Technology. "Red-Hot Research Could Lead To New Materials." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090409152740.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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