UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering have developed a novel method of preparing inorganic nanospheres with porous hollow interiors.
Fuel cells are a promising alternative to combustion and are one of the cleanest and most efficient technologies for generating electricity, with the market for fuel cell electrodes and electrocatalysts of over $430 million in 2017. In these cells, the most effective catalysts for converting oxygen and hydrogen into electricity are platinum-based, resulting in prohibitively high costs and limiting their applications. One approach is to prepare novel catalysts that use less platinum and/or exhibit higher activity, such as nanocatalysts or alloys, in order to decrease costs.
Professor Lu and coworkers have developed a novel aerosol-based method for preparing nanostructured spherical particles with porous hollow interiors. To produce well-ordered spheres, materials such as organic ligands are used as permanent or removable structural templates. This approach can be applied to a variety of elemental metals, including nickel and platinum, in order to synthesize particles with tunable properties. These nanospheres with high surface area and internal void volumes have wide applications in catalysis, sensing, energy conversion and storage, and drug delivery.
Metal nanoparticles have been demonstrated using nickel, platinum, palladium, and copper. Ni particles demonstrate increased hydrogen storage capability.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||8,840,816||09/23/2014||2011-800|
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||8,728,361||05/20/2014||2011-800|
Additional Patents Pending
Metal-carbon composites, metal-organic ligand, porous, hollow, spherical nanostructure, aerosol