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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

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

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