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Quantum of sonics: Bonded, not stirred
Date:7/26/2013

and makes the nanoparticles 'weld' together irreversibly.

Just as a mixologist (cocktail waiter) shakes drinks together to create your favourite martini, materials scientists can now simply mix preformed nanoparticles together and zap them in the ultrasonic bath to create new weird and wonderful hybrid and fully functional microparticle materials, such as conductive ceramic catalysts, magnetic polymers, and drug-loaded metals.

"Our discovery may help alleviate the loss of platinum from catalytic converters in car exhausts, for example. Half of the platinum mined annually worldwide is used to make catalytic converters and up to half of this platinum is lost into the atmosphere during the lifetime of the car. This results from a lack of a better method up to now for bonding nanoparticles in a robust and durable manner while still maintaining their activity."

The study's co-author and former McGill doctoral student, David Bassett, helped make the discovery when he spotted something unusual in the bottom of his ultrasonic bath.

"Instead of getting smaller, these things grew and kept on growing. We went up many blind alleys and it took me three years to unravel what was going on. It was painstaking but now it's really satisfying to finally have a grip on it."


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Contact: Cynthia Lee
cynthia.lee@mcgill.ca
514-398-6754
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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