Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > TU Graz researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

The graph illustrates the stepwise synthesis of Silver-Zinc Oxide core-shell clusters.

CREDIT
© IEP - TU Graz
The graph illustrates the stepwise synthesis of Silver-Zinc Oxide core-shell clusters. CREDIT © IEP - TU Graz

Abstract:
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles - smallest portions of bulk material - form the basis for a whole range of new technological developments. Due to the laws of quantum mechanics, such particles measuring only a few millionths of a millimetre can behave completely differently in terms of conductivity, optics or robustness than the same material on a macroscopic scale. In addition, nanoparticles or nanoclusters have a very large catalytically effective surface area compared to their volume. For many applications this allows material savings while maintaining the same performance.

TU Graz researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

Graz, Austria | Posted on July 31st, 2020

Further development of top-level research in Graz in the field of nanomaterials

Researchers at the Institute of Experimental Physics (IEP) at Graz University of Technology have developed a method for assembling nanomaterials as desired. They let superfluid helium droplets of an internal temperature of 0.4 Kelvin (i.e. minus 273 degrees Celsius) fly through a vacuum chamber and selectively introduce individual atoms or molecules into these droplets. "There, they coalesce into a new aggregate and can be deposited on different substrates," explains experimental physicist Wolfgang Ernst from TU Graz. He has been working on this so-called helium-droplet synthesis for twenty-five years now, has successively developed it further during this time, and has produced continuous research at the highest international level, mostly performed in "Cluster Lab 3", which has been set up specifically for this purpose at the IEP.

Reinforcement of catalytic properties

In Nano Research, Ernst and his team now report on the targeted formation of so-called core-shell clusters using helium-droplet synthesis. The clusters have a 3-nanometer core of silver and a 1.5-nanometer-thick shell of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a semiconductor that is used, for example, in radiation detectors for measuring electromagnetic radiation or in photocatalysts for breaking down organic pollutants. The special thing about the material combination is that the silver core provides a plasmonic resonance, i.e. it absorbs light and thus causes a high light field amplification. This puts electrons in an excited state in the surrounding zinc oxide, thereby forming electron-hole pairs - small portions of energy that can be used elsewhere for chemical reactions, such as catalysis processes directly on the cluster surface. "The combination of the two material properties increases the efficiency of photocatalysts immensely. In addition, it would be conceivable to use such a material in water splitting for hydrogen production," says Ernst, naming a field of application.

Nanoparticles for laser and magnetic sensors

In addition to the silver-zinc oxide combination, the researchers produced other interesting core-shell clusters with a magnetic core of the elements iron, cobalt or nickel and a shell of gold. Gold also has a plasmonic effect and also protects the magnetic core from unwanted oxidation. These nanoclusters can be influenced and controlled both by lasers and by external magnetic fields and are suitable for sensor technologies, for example. For these material combinations, temperature-dependent stability measurements as well as theoretical calculations were carried out in collaboration with the IEP theory group led by Andreas Hauser and the team of Maria Pilar de Lara Castells (Institute of Fundamental Physics at the Spanish National Research Council CSIC, Madrid) and can explain the behaviour at phase transitions such as alloy formation that deviates from macroscopic material samples. The results were published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Ernst now hopes that the findings from the experiments will be rapidly transferred into new catalysts "as soon as possible".

###

This research area is anchored in the Field of Expertise "Advanced Materials Science", one of five strategic foci of TU Graz. The Cluster 3 laboratory was set up using funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with the support of the European Union and the State of Styria. The measurements for photoelectron spectroscopy of the particles could be carried out with the aid of a photoemission electron microscope in the framework of the structural funds of the higher education area of the Austrian Federal Government. The work was also supported by three projects of the Austrian Research Fund FWF.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Wolfgang ERNST
Em.Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Phys. Dr.rer.nat.
Tel.: +43 316 873 8140; E-Mail:

Florian LACKNER
Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.
Tel.: +43 316 873 8647; E-Mail:

Andreas HAUSER
Assoc.Prof. Mag. phil. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. phil Dr. techn.
Tel.: +43 316 873 8157; E-Mail:

At Institute of Fundamental Physics at the Spanish National Research Council CSIC, Madrid:
Maria Pilar de Lara Castells
E-Mail:

Copyright © Graz University of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

To the original publications:

Related News Press

News and information

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Possible Futures

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Molecular Sciences Software Institute receives $15 million grant from National Science Foundation October 15th, 2021

Chip Technology

Photon-pair source with pump rejection filter fabricated on single CMOS chip: New integrated source provides critical component for chip-based quantum photonic systems October 15th, 2021

Ultrafast magnetism: heating magnets, freezing time: This study on Gadolinium is completing a series of experiments on Nickel, Iron-Nickel Alloys: The results are useful for developing ultrafast data storage devices October 15th, 2021

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Nanoscale lattices flow from 3D printer: Rice University engineers create nanostructures of glass and crystal for electronics, photonics October 15th, 2021

Discoveries

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Materials/Metamaterials

UTA project aims to extend life of concrete, cement by adding nanoscale wood fibers: Wood fibers key to sustainable concrete, cement September 24th, 2021

Nanocellulose decorated with proteins is suitable for 3D cell culturing September 24th, 2021

Scientists demonstrate pathway to forerunner of nanotubes that could lead to widespread industrial fabrication September 17th, 2021

New substance classes for nanomaterials: Nano spheres and diamond slivers made of silicon and germanium: Potential applications as nano semiconductor materials September 10th, 2021

Announcements

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Molecular Sciences Software Institute receives $15 million grant from National Science Foundation October 15th, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Energy

A sunny outlook for solar: New research demonstrates great promise of all-inorganic perovskite solar cells for improving the efficiencies of solar cells October 15th, 2021

Silver nanoparticles boost performance of microbial fuel cells September 17th, 2021

Gamechanger for clean hydrogen production, Curtin research finds: Curtin University research has identified a new, cheaper and more efficient electrocatalyst to make green hydrogen from water that could one day open new avenues for large-scale clean energy production September 17th, 2021

Cheaper hydrogen production: Efficient water and urea electrolysis with bimetallic yolk-shell nanoparticles September 10th, 2021

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project