Mimicking a sweet solution to mop up pollution
A fast and safe method to prepare a 3D porous material that mimics the shape of a honeycomb could have broad applications from catalysis to drug delivery or for filtering air to remove pollutants or viruses.
The lattice of a honeycomb or the symmetry of a diatom are among complex living structures whose patterns and shapes have long inspired scientists. One recent application is to develop artificial hierarchical porous materials that are stable, yet have a large surface area and the ability to selectively extract materials. The complexity and pattern repeatability across scales from individual compartments to the entire structure, have made it difficult to build them at the nanoscale.
A team from KAUST, led by Suzana Nunes, has proposed a simple method that, in just five minutes, can produce a flexible film with a complex hierarchical structure that has repeating patterns of interconnected, regularly shaped pores.
With experts in the Imaging and Characterization Core Lab, the researchers used the block copolymer called polystyrene–b–poly (tertbutyl acrylate) (PS–b–PtBA) to demonstrate this method. They tested various concentrations of PS–b–PtBA with different solvent mixtures with the resulting solution cast on a glass plate and evaporated for different time periods to promote the nucleation and growth of cavities with highly porous interconnecting walls. The resulting film was then immersed in water to rinse off the solvent and halt the phase separation.
“By using this method we create an important platform to design artificial porous materials which replicate a highly ordered porous and complex systems mimicking nature,” explains lead author, Stefan Chisca. “These have potential use for separations and biological scaffolds.”
Source: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) - 11.05.2018.
Chisca, S., Musteata, V-E., Sougrat, R., Behzad, R.R., Nunes S. Artificial 3D hierarchical and isotropic porous polymeric materials. Science Advances 4, eaat0713 (2018).
Investigated and edited by:Dr.-Ing. Christoph Konetschny, Inhaber und Gründer von Materialsgate
Büro für Material- und Technologieberatung
The investigation and editing of this document was performed with best care and attention.
For the accuracy, validity, availability and applicability of the given information, we take no liability.
Please discuss the suitability concerning your specific application with the experts of the named company or organization.
You want additional material or technology investigations concerning this subject?Materialsgate is leading in material consulting and material investigation.
Feel free to use our established consulting services
Your weekly MaterialTRENDS for
Engineering & Design
Partner of the Week
Search in MaterialsgateNEWS
Books and products