This groundbreaking research was recently featured in the leading Chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie, and a United States patent has been filed on the invention.
Research Scientist Dr. Yu Han and IBN Executive Director Prof. Jackie Y. Ying have developed a fluorocarbon-mediated-synthesis technique that produces nanometer-sized particles of between 50 and 300 nm with tunable pore sizes in the range of 5-30 nm (The width of a human hair is approximately 80,000 nm).
“The nanoporous nanoparticles are named after our Institute, termed ‘IBN-1?to ‘IBN-5? They represent a new class of materials that are tailored simultaneously with nanometer-scale particle size and nanometer-sized pores. This is a beautiful example of ‘bottom-up?nanotechnology made possible by supramolecular chemistry,?said Prof. Ying.
Previous attempts at synthesizing such nanoparticles created particles that were limited in the type of structure, degree of structural ordering and range of pore sizes. Most current technologies can only produce 2-dimensional hexagonal structure with small pore diameter (< 5 nm). In many cases, special vapor-phase synthesis equipment is required.
IBN’s simple wet-chemical technique uses two different types of surfactant (a soluble chemical compound that reduces the surface tension between liquids). One surfactant acts as the template for mesoporous structure, while the other is used to limit the growth of the particles to nanometer dimensions.
This method can be used to create a variety of nanoparticles with enormous surface areas, and very well-defined pore size and structure.
One important application of these nanoporous nanoparticles lies in the production of pure chiral drugs, which m