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LDRD final report on adaptive-responsive nanostructures for sensing applications.

Description: Functional organic nanostructures such as well-formed tubes or fibers that can easily be fabricated into electronic and photonic devices are needed in many applications. Especially desirable from a national security standpoint are nanostructures that have enhanced sensitivity for the detection of chemicals and biological (CB) agents and other environmental stimuli. We recently discovered the first class of highly responsive and adaptive porphyrin-based nanostructures that may satisfy these requirements. These novel porphyrin nanostructures, which are formed by ionic self-assembly of two oppositely charged porphyrins, may function as conductors, semiconductors, or photoconductors, and they have additional properties that make them suitable for device fabrication (e.g., as ultrasensitive colorimetric CB microsensors). Preliminary studies with porphyrin nanotubes have shown that these nanostructures have novel optical and electronic properties, including strong resonant light scattering, quenched fluorescence, and electrical conductivity. In addition, they are photochemically active and capable of light-harvesting and photosynthesis; they may also have nonlinear optical properties. Remarkably, the nanotubes and potentially other porphyrin nanostructure are mechanically responsive and adaptive (e.g., the rigidity of the micrometers-long nanotubes is altered by light, ultrasound, or chemicals) and they self-heal upon removal the environmental stimulus. Given the tremendous degree of structural variation possible in the porphyrin subunits, additional types of nanostructures and greater control over their morphology can be anticipated. Molecular modification also provides a means of controlling their electronic, photonic, and other functional properties. In this work, we have greatly broadened the range of ionic porphyrin nanostructures that can be made, and determined the optical and responsivity properties of the nanotubes and other porphyrin nanostructures. We have also explored means for controlling their morphology, size, and placement on surfaces. The research proposed will lay the groundwork for the use of these remarkable porphyrin nanostructures in micro- and nanoscale devices, by providing a more detailed understanding of ...
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Shelnutt, John Allen; van Swol, Frank B.; Wang, Zhongchun & Medforth, Craig J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hierarchical electrode architectures for electrical energy storage & conversion.

Description: The integration and stability of electrocatalytic nanostructures, which represent one level of porosity in a hierarchical structural scheme when combined with a three-dimensional support scaffold, has been studied using a combination of synthetic processes, characterization techniques, and computational methods. Dendritic platinum nanostructures have been covalently linked to common electrode surfaces using a newly developed chemical route; a chemical route equally applicable to a range of metals, oxides, and semiconductive materials. Characterization of the resulting bound nanostructure system confirms successful binding, while electrochemistry and microscopy demonstrate the viability of these electroactive particles. Scanning tunneling microscopy has been used to image and validate the short-term stability of several electrode-bound platinum dendritic sheet structures toward Oswald ripening. Kinetic Monte Carlo methods have been applied to develop an understanding of the stability of the basic nano-scale porous platinum sheets as they transform from an initial dendrite to hole containing sheets. Alternate synthetic strategies were pursued to grow dendritic platinum structures directly onto subunits (graphitic particles) of the electrode scaffold. A two-step photocatalytic seeding process proved successful at generating desirable nano-scale porous structures. Growth in-place is an alternate strategy to the covalent linking of the electrocatalytic nanostructures.
Date: January 1, 2012
Creator: Zavadil, Kevin Robert; Missert, Nancy A.; Shelnutt, John Allen & van Swol, Frank B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LDRD final report on imaging self-organization of proteins in membranes by photocatalytic nano-tagging.

Description: We have developed a new nanotagging technology for detecting and imaging the self-organization of proteins and other components of membranes at nanometer resolution for the purpose of investigating cell signaling and other membrane-mediated biological processes. We used protein-, lipid-, or drug-bound porphyrin photocatalysts to grow in-situ nanometer-sized metal particles, which reveal the location of the porphyrin-labeled molecules by electron microscopy. We initially used photocatalytic nanotagging to image assembled multi-component proteins and to monitor the distribution of lipids and porphyrin labels in liposomes. For example, by exchanging the heme molecules in hemoproteins with a photocatalytic tin porphyrin, a nanoparticle was grown at each heme site of the protein. The result obtained from electron microscopy for a tagged multi-subunit protein such as hemoglobin is a symmetric constellation of a specific number of nanoparticle tags, four in the case of the hemoglobin tetramer. Methods for covalently linking photocatalytic porphyrin labels to lipids and proteins were also developed to detect and image the self-organization of lipids, protein-protein supercomplexes, and membrane-protein complexes. Procedures for making photocatalytic porphyrin-drug, porphyrin-lipid, and porphyrin-protein hybrids for non-porphyrin-binding proteins and membrane components were pursued and the first porphyrin-labeled lipids was investigated in liposomal membrane models. Our photocatalytic nanotagging technique may ultimately allow membrane self-organization and cell signaling processes to be imaged in living cells. Fluorescence and plasmonic spectra of the tagged proteins might also provide additional information about protein association and membrane organization. In addition, a porphyrin-aspirin or other NSAID hybrid may be used to grow metal nanotags for the pharmacologically important COX enzymes in membranes so that the distribution of the protein can be imaged at the nanometer scale.
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Zavadil, Kevin Robert; Shelnutt, John Allen; Sasaki, Darryl Yoshio; Song, Yujiang & Medforth, Craig J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LDRD final report on nanovehicle light-driven propulsion.

Description: Having demonstrated the possibility of constructing nanoscale metallic vehicular bodies as described in last year's proposal, our goals have been to make uniform preparations of the metallized lipid assemblies and to determine the feasibility of powering these nanostructures with biological motors that are activated and driven by visible light. We desired that the propulsion system be constructed entirely by self-assembly and powered by a photocatalytic process partially already built into the nanovehicle. The nanovehicle we desire to build is composed of both natural biological components (ATPase, kinesin-microtubules) and biomimetic components (platinized liposomes, photosynthetic membrane) as functional units. The vehicle's body was originally envisioned to be composed of a surfactant liposomal bilayer coated with platinum nanoparticles, but instead of the expected nanoparticles we were able to grow dendritic 2-nm thick platinum sheets on the liposomes. Now, we have shown that it is possible to completely enclose the liposomes with sheeting to form porous platinum spheres, which show good structural stability as evidenced by their ability to survive the stresses of electron-microscopy sample preparation. Our goals were to control the synthesis of the platinized liposomes well enough to make uniform preparations of the coated individual liposomes and to develop the propulsion system for these nanovehicles a hydrogen-evolving artificial photosynthetic system in the liposomal bilayer that generates the pH gradient across the membrane that is necessary to drive the synthesis of ATP by ATP-synthase incorporated in the membrane. ATP produced would fuel the molecular motor (kinesin) attached to the vehicle, needing only light, storable ADP, phosphate, and an electron donor to be produced by ATP-synthase in the membrane. These research goals appear to be attainable, but growing the uniform preparations of the liposomes coated with dendritic platinum sheeting, a necessary accomplishment that would simplify the task of incorporating and verifying the photosynthetic function ...
Date: December 1, 2004
Creator: Singh, Anup K.; van Swol, Frank B.; Shelnutt, John Allen; Medforth, Craig J. & Song, Yujiang
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LDRD final report on synthesis of shape-and size-controlled platinum and platinum alloy nanostructures on carbon with improved durability.

Description: This project is aimed to gain added durability by supporting ripening-resistant dendritic platinum and/or platinum-based alloy nanostructures on carbon. We have developed a new synthetic approach suitable for directly supporting dendritic nanostructures on VXC-72 carbon black (CB), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The key of the synthesis is to creating a unique supporting/confining reaction environment by incorporating carbon within lipid bilayer relying on a hydrophobic-hydrophobic interaction. In order to realize size uniformity control over the supported dendritic nanostructures, a fast photocatalytic seeding method based on tin(IV) porphyrins (SnP) developed at Sandia was applied to the synthesis by using SnP-containing liposomes under tungsten light irradiation. For concept approval, one created dendritic platinum nanostructure supported on CB was fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for durability examination via potential cycling. It appears that carbon supporting is essentially beneficial to an enhanced durability according to our preliminary results.
Date: October 1, 2008
Creator: Shelnutt, John Allen; Garcia, Robert M.; Song, Yujiang; Moreno, Andres M. & Stanis, Ronald J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report : CO2 reduction using biomimetic photocatalytic nanodevices.

Description: Nobel Prize winner Richard Smalley was an avid champion for the cause of energy research. Calling it 'the single most important problem facing humanity today,' Smalley promoted the development of nanotechnology as a means to harness solar energy. Using nanotechnology to create solar fuels (i.e., fuels created from sunlight, CO{sub 2}, and water) is an especially intriguing idea, as it impacts not only energy production and storage, but also climate change. Solar irradiation is the only sustainable energy source of a magnitude sufficient to meet projections for global energy demand. Biofuels meet the definition of a solar fuel. Unfortunately, the efficiency of photosynthesis will need to be improved by an estimated factor of ten before biofuels can fully replace fossil fuels. Additionally, biological organisms produce an array of hydrocarbon products requiring further processing before they are usable for most applications. Alternately, 'bio-inspired' nanostructured photocatalytic devices that efficiently harvest sunlight and use that energy to reduce CO{sub 2} into a single useful product or chemical intermediate can be envisioned. Of course, producing such a device is very challenging as it must be robust and multifunctional, i.e. capable of promoting and coupling the multi-electron, multi-photon water oxidation and CO{sub 2} reduction processes. Herein, we summarize some of the recent and most significant work towards creating light harvesting nanodevices that reduce CO{sub 2} to CO (a key chemical intermediate) that are based on key functionalities inspired by nature. We report the growth of Co(III)TPPCl nanofibers (20-100 nm in diameter) on gas diffusion layers via an evaporation induced self-assembly (EISA) method. Remarkably, as-fabricated electrodes demonstrate light-enhanced activity for CO{sub 2} reduction to CO as evidenced by cyclic voltammograms and electrolysis with/without light irradiation. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time to observe such a light-enhanced CO{sub 2} reduction reaction based ...
Date: November 1, 2009
Creator: Garcia, Robert M.; Shelnutt, John Allen; Medforth, Craig John (University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM); Song, Yujiang; Wang, Zhongchun; Miller, James Edward et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improving electronic structure methods to predict nano-optoelectronics and nano-catalyst functions.

Description: This report focuses on quantum chemistry and ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) calculations applied to elucidate the mechanism of the multi-step, 2-electron, electrochemical reduction of the green house gas molecule carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) to carbon monoxide (CO) in aqueous media. When combined with H{sub 2} gas to form synthesis ('syn') gas, CO becomes a key precursor to methane, methanol, and other useful hydrocarbon products. To elucidate the mechanism of this reaction, we apply computational electrochemistry which is a fledgling, important area of basic science critical to energy storage. This report highlights several approaches, including the calculation of redox potentials, the explicit depiction of liquid water environments using AIMD, and free energy methods. While costly, these pioneering calculations reveal the key role of hydration- and protonation-stabilization of reaction intermediates, and may inform the design of CO{sub 2}-capture materials as well as its electrochemical reduction. In the course of this work, we have also dealt with the challenges of identifying and applying electronic structure methods which are sufficiently accurate to deal with transition metal ion complex-based catalyst. Such electronic structure methods are also pertinent to the accurate modeling of actinide materials and therefore to nuclear energy research. Our multi-pronged effort towards achieving this titular goal of the LDRD is discussed.
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Nielsen, Ida Marie B.; Marzari, Nicola (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Shelnutt, John Allen; Kulik, Heather J. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Medforth, Craig John (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM) & Leung, Kevin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

LDRD final report on light-powered nanovehicles.

Description: We have investigated the possibility of constructing nanoscale metallic vehicles powered by biological motors or flagella that are activated and powered by visible light. The vehicle's body is to be composed of the surfactant bilayer of a liposome coated with metallic nanoparticles or nanosheets grown together into a porous single crystal. The diameter of the rigid metal vesicles is from about 50 nm to microns. Illumination with visible light activates a photosynthetic system in the bilayer that can generate a pH gradient across the liposomal membrane. The proton gradient can fuel a molecular motor that is incorporated into the membrane. Some molecular motors require ATP to fuel active transport. The protein ATP synthase, when embedded in the membrane, will use the pH gradient across the membrane to produce ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate. The nanoscale vehicle is thus composed of both natural biological components (ATPase, flagellum; actin-myosin, kinesin-microtubules) and biomimetic components (metal vehicle casing, photosynthetic membrane) as functional units. Only light and storable ADP, phosphate, water, and weak electron donor are required fuel components. These nano-vehicles are being constructed by self-assembly and photocatalytic and autocatalytic reactions. The nano-vehicles can potentially respond to chemical gradients and other factors such as light intensity and field gradients, in a manner similar to the way that magnetic bacteria navigate. The delivery package might include decision-making and guidance components, drugs or other biological and chemical agents, explosives, catalytic reactors, and structural materials. We expected in one year to be able only to assess the problems and major issues at each stage of construction of the vehicle and the likely success of fabricating viable nanovehicles with our biomimetic photocatalytic approach. Surprisingly, we have been able to demonstrate that metallized photosynthetic liposomes can indeed be made. We have completed the synthesis of metallized liposomes with photosynthetic ...
Date: November 1, 2003
Creator: Shelnutt, John Allen; van Swol, Frank B.; Miller, James Edward; Pereira, Eulalia; Qiu, Yan; Jiang, Ying-Bing et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOE/BES/NSET annual report on growth of metal and semiconductor nanostructures using localized photocatalysts.

Description: Our overall goal is to understand and develop a novel light-driven approach to the controlled growth of unique metal and semiconductor nanostructures and nanomaterials. In this photochemical process, bio-inspired porphyrin-based photocatalysts reduce metal salts in aqueous solutions at ambient temperatures to provide metal nucleation and growth centers. Photocatalyst molecules are pre-positioned at the nanoscale to control the location and morphology of the metal nanostructures grown. Self-assembly, chemical confinement, and molecular templating are some of the methods used for nanoscale positioning of the photocatalyst molecules. When exposed to light, the photocatalyst molecule repeatedly reduces metal ions from solution, leading to deposition and the synthesis of the new nanostructures and nanostructured materials. Studies of the photocatalytic growth process and the resulting nanostructures address a number of fundamental biological, chemical, and environmental issues and draw on the combined nanoscience characterization and multi-scale simulation capabilities of the new DOE Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, the University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories. Our main goals are to elucidate the processes involved in the photocatalytic growth of metal nanomaterials and provide the scientific basis for controlled synthesis. The nanomaterials resulting from these studies have applications in nanoelectronics, photonics, sensors, catalysis, and micromechanical systems. The proposed nanoscience concentrates on three thematic research areas: (1) the creation of nanoscale structures for realizing novel phenomena and quantum control, (2) understanding nanoscale processes in the environment, and (3) the development and use of multi-scale, multi-phenomena theory and simulation. Our goals for FY03 have been to understand the role of photocatalysis in the synthesis of dendritic platinum nanostructures grown from aqueous surfactant solutions under ambient conditions. The research is expected to lead to highly nanoengineered materials for catalysis mediated by platinum, palladium, and potentially other catalytically important metals. The nanostructures made also have potential applications in nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, and nanomagnetic ...
Date: October 1, 2003
Creator: Haddad, Raid Edward; Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Shelnutt, John Allen; Yang, Yi; Nuttall, H. Eric; Watt, Richard K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department