Navigation Links
Uniform tungsten trimers stand and deliver

Like tiny nano-soldiers on parade, the cyclic tungsten trioxide clusters line up molecule-by-molecule on the titanium dioxide platform. One tungsten atom from each cluster is raised slightly, holding forth the potential to execute catalytic reactions.

The nanostructures constitute a new model system, a simplified version of a catalyst that would be used in an application. Such models reveal to chemists the exact structure and reaction mechanisms of metal oxides.

Developed by researchers from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Texas-Austin and Washington State University, the discovery may offer a platform for fundamental reactivity studies of metal oxides used as catalysts in converting hydrocarbons into fuels and value-added chemicals.

"There is a striking difference between commercial catalysts and the new model system," said Mike White, the UT professor leading the PNNL Institute for Interfacial Catalysis. Variability in commercial catalyst size and chemical composition makes it difficult to accurately understand or describe the reactions taking place at a molecular level.

"Commercial catalysts are like a gravel pile with many sizes of rocks. Some rocks are purple; some are blue. Some do one thing; some do another. But, our system has all the same size rocks," White said.

The model system ?in which all the molecular clusters are the same size, are evenly dispersed and are oriented in one of two directions on a single layer of titanium oxide crystals ?holds promise as a platform for studying the behavior of early transition metal oxides. White noted, "While we have created the smallest nano-cluster of a uniform size you can imagine, it is a real oxide. The tungsten is in its normal oxide state. In principle, you have all the things needed to make bonds and break bonds. That's the scientific breakthrough here."

Though it appears simple, the model system was challengin g to develop, White said. The collaborators employed specialized equipment available from the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE user facility located at PNNL, to prepare and characterize the platform as well as the clusters. Using a unique approach that changed the tungsten oxide directly from a solid to a gas, the collaborators stabilized the molecular rings ?or "trimers" ?of tungsten on the titanium platform.

A scanning tunneling microscope imaged not only the trimers but also their consistent alignment with the single crystal structure of the platform. "A scanning tunneling microscope must be so stable that we have to vibrationally isolate the instrument. It cannot move even a small amount because we are using a stream of electrons to measure the distance from the microscope's tip to a small space between atoms," White explained. The collaborators also characterized the cluster mass, determined the ratio of tungsten to oxygen atoms in the cluster, and used X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to identify the tungsten oxidation state.

"This is a small piece of the basic science that could lead to control of chemical transformations for our energy future," White said, noting that this is the first time researchers have created and imaged monodisperse oxide clusters on another oxide.


Source:DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. Uniform language for describing genes of pathogenic and beneficial microbes
2. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
3. Zebrafish may hold key to understanding human nerve cell development
4. Novel ultrafast laser detection of cancer cells also may improve understanding of stem cells
5. Expression Project for Oncology (expO) completes first phase of standardized gene expression analyses
6. Researchers make gains in understanding antibiotic resistance
7. Brain-mapping technique aids understanding of sleep, wakefulness
8. New understanding of DNA repair may pave way to cancer treatments
9. NYU and MSKCC research provides model for understanding chemically induced cancer initiation
10. The circadian clock: Understanding natures timepiece
11. Virologists make major step towards understanding the process of HIV infection
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, ... Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The latest ... comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security market ... of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In ... in software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , a brand of Troubadour ... from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. ... receptivity to a program where they would receive discounts ... company. "We were surprised to see that ... LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April 26, ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys ... announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile ...      (Logo: ) ... customers enhanced security to access and transact across ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... YORK , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign ... to envision new ways to harness living systems and ... Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City ... than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking ... Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to ... medical community, has closed its Series A funding round, ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis ... need to meet our current goals," stated Matthew ... runway to complete validation on the current projects in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free ... and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, ... poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA ...
Breaking Biology Technology: