Available Technology

BSA 11-21: Removing Strongly Adsorbed Surfactants and Capping Agents from Nanostructures

Nanostructures with specific shapes and facet orientations are often particularly well suited for certain purposes. Their synthesis, however, generally requires the use of surfactants or capping agents that adhere strongly to the nanoparticles. These agents must be removed before the nanoparticles can be used. Most of the time the removal allows the particle size to increase and the particles to agglomerate, rendering the nanoparticles much less catalytically active. This invention provides a simple, fast removal of surfactants from nanostructures that can be implemented just prior to their use.
Patent Abstract: 
Surfactant desorption is induced by adsorption of carbon monoxide onto the surface of the nanoparticles. This carbon monoxide layer is then stripped by electrochemical oxidation.
This method of surfactant removal maintains the size and shape of the nanoparticles, allowing them to be used in catalytic applications.
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