Carbon dioxide is not only a waste product, it can be used in the manufacture of a new generation of nanomaterials, according to a new study.
A research team has used waste carbon dioxide gas as a catalyst to manufacture novel nanomaterials. These materials have a greater ability to generate light. The carbon dioxide enhances the binding of different materials together. Here the gas acts like a catalyst. Catalysts are substances that participate in the chemical reactions, speed their courses and (almost) fully recover after the reactions are completed. In typical catalytic processes the catalysts must be activated at high temperatures, typically of several hundred degrees centigrade, often at a significantly increased pressure. The carbon dioxide is not only more efficient, it avoids the extreme physical conditions normally needed to trigger a reaction.
The novel materials, according to Controlled Environments, are highly porous and they show an extended surface area. The main application is intended to be with the creation of microporous fluorescent materials. These materials can be used for the next generation of computer and television screens, and they emit light with quantum yield significantly higher than those of classical materials used in OLEDs (organic light-emitting diode).
Novel microporous material, composed of building blocks with zinc carbonate core encapsulated in appropriately designed organic shell (hydroxyquinoline ligands), is highly luminescent.
The research was undertaken at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and the Faculty of Chemistry, Warsaw University of Technology.