Three teams of Centre of Advanced Nanomaterials researchers have received pilot project funding two undertake scoping projects in three areas of nanomaterials research. The funding is designed to provide early-stage results to facilitate grant application in subsequent years in these areas.
The projects include:
- Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers (CAN researchers Hill, Doonan and Sumby with Mike McGlaughlin): This project will involve the development of novel nanomaterials that can, in the first instance, control the rate of release of fertilisers in the soil, and in the second instance, demonstrate a triggered release when plant roots are adjacent.
- Photoregulated Gating Enabled Smart Nanoconfined Structures (CAN researchers Kurkuri, Yu, Abell, Losic): This project aims to fabricate smart nanoconfined structures capable of photoregulated gating by anchoring photosensitive peptides on the top surface of pores via amide coupling reaction and exploit their applications for drug delivery.
- Cryostat and vapour addition kit for a VT Gas Absorption System (CAN researchers Doonan, Sumby, Biggs): The project was a contribution to provide a capability for more detailed measurements of gas adsoption and to expand the scope of gases and vapours that could be studied.
- Utilising biochars to enance the retention of nutrients in soils. This project seeks to establish some initial understanding of the relationship between the biochar pore geometry and surface chemistry and nutirent adsorption and intra-particle transport. (CAN Researchers Prof. Mark J. Biggs, Prof. Davis Chittleborogh and Dr Philp Kwong).
CAN researchers have developed a synthetic approach that controls the interpenetration - a mechanical interlocking of non-bonded networks - that changes the pore volumes and shapes of certain metal-organic frameworks (D. Rankine, A. Avellaneda, M. R. Hill, C. J. Doonan C. J. Sumby, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 10328). The work, published in a web themed issue on metal-organic frameworks for Chem. Comm. demonstrated that the control of interpenetration and pore lining could be independently controlled.
The installation and commissioning of the new powder diffractometers has been completed. These are housed in the Bragg Crystallography Laboratory in the Johnson Building at the University of Adelaide. The instrument details are as follows:
Bruker D4 (Co radiation)
The D4 system is designed for high-throughput sample measurements. Samples are mounted from a 60 sample changer so a number can be queued for collection in a short space of time and then left to run.
Bruker D8 (Cu installed but Co and Cr tubes available).
The D8 is configured for more specialised experiments. It will typically configured with either a capillary stage or with a temperature controlled stage (MRI stage - from -190 up to 450 degrees C approx.). Gas loading and variable temperature experiments are possible.
The CAN is funding a symposium on porous materials to coincide with the AsCA12/Crystal 28 conference to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
An exciting line-up of international, national and local speakers has been organised, including Prof. Hong-Cai Zhou (Texas A&M University) and Prof. Myunghyun Paik Suh (Seoul National University).
This will be held:
Date: Sunday, 2nd December 2012
Location: the University of Adelaide
Registration, which is free for School or Centre members, covers lunch and after symposium drinks. You must RSVP to Chris Sumby by 28 November 2012 for catering purposes.
Orders for two new powder diffractometers have been placed with the first instrument, a Bruker D4, due to arrive in September. The diffractometers will be housed in the Bragg Crystallography Facility located in the Johnson Building and provide comprehensive diffraction facilities for CAN members and the SA community. For more information see:
PhD students supervised by CAN members came away with a number of prizes at the recent School of Chemistry & Physics postgraduate research symposium. Witold's talk focussed on the synthesis of dynamic porous coordination polymers that show interesting solvent-driven solid-state contraction and expansion.
A list of awardees is given below:
- Jack Evans - BEST 1ST YEAR CHEMISTRY ABSTRACT
- Damien Rankine - HONOURABLE MENTION FOR 2ND YEAR CHEMISTRY POSTER
- Herbert Foo - BEST 3RD/4TH YEAR CHEMISTRY POSTER
- Courtney Hollis - HONOURABLE MENTION FOR 3RD/4TH YEAR CHEMISTRY POSTER
- Witold Bloch - BEST 3RD/4TH YEAR CHEMISTRY TALK
PhD student Damien Rankine appeared on the Channel 10 Science programme SCOPE talking about research that aims to make more efficient storage of gases such as hydrogen possible.
Details of the episode can be found at the following link: http://ten.com.au/scope-29822.htm
Researchers from the University of Adelaide have developed a 3-D PCP that undergoes unparalleled guest-induced crystal-to-crystal breathing (W. M. Bloch, C. J. Sumby, Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 2534).
The compound has a sodalite topology, with large channels (˜14.3 Å in diameter) that facil
itate rapid guest exchange. Compound 1 breathes upon exposure to different solvents, with the as-synthesised form shrinking in volume by nearly 18%.
The compound can be reversibly expanded upon exposure to other solvents. Complete guest removal from the 3-D PCP results in a crystal-to-crystal transformation to a non-porous 2-D coordination polymer.
Solid-state breathing showing the contraction of the channel walls by about 20%