Goal: To obtain porous, mesoporous, and mesostructured materials at high pressure for catalysis, gas storage, and other applications.
Project Documents: EFree Papers, Relevant Publications, Progress Reports
Overview: Applied pressure and the porosity of a material are antagonists because pressure has the tendency to eliminate porosity. As a consequence, a mesoporous material is more reactive at high pressure compared to a dense material. In EFree, work in the Next-Generation Porous Materials Project is designed to exploit this property to enable the kinetically controlled synthesis of high pressure phases. In addition, we apply templating techniques in high-pressure synthesis to produce mesostructured high-pressure phases.
As a recent example, different nanostructured forms of diamond have been synthesized from SBA-15 type periodic mesoporous carbons. At 14 GPa and 1300 oC, size-tunable diamond nanocrystals be synthesized. By variation of the temperature and the reaction time, the diameter of the nanocrystals can be tuned from 50 to 200 nm. (Fig. 1) The diamond nanocrystals are non-aggregated and solution processible. Increase of the pressure to 21 GPa leads to the formation of mesoporous diamond (Fig. 2).