Atomically-Precise Cerium-Oxide Nanoclusters with Improved Reactivity and Efficiency

Technology #16373

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cerium-oxide nanoclusters
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Researchers
George Christou
Kylie J Mitchell
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929

Enhances Efficiency in Industrial and Petrochemical Catalysis, Fuel Cells, Biomedicine Applications and More

This synthetic nanocluster of cerium-oxide outperforms conventional cerium-oxide nanoparticles in reactivity and efficiency. Cerium-oxide is a compound used in chemical and industrial applications ranging from glass polishing to wastewater treatment. The cerium-oxide nanoparticle market is expected to reach $734 million by 2022. This compound takes up to 60 percent of the rare earth metals market. Scientists know that the smaller the cerium-oxide nanoparticle, the greater the range of activity it has. However, because conventional cerium-oxide nanoparticles vary in size, it is difficult to establish size-to-activity relationships and, therefore, difficult to control in chemical reactions. Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered a synthetic process for cerium-oxide that results in cerium-oxide nanoclusters smallest in size and most reactive, but that overcome the control issues in conventional nanoparticles. UF researchers can determine the exact size of these molecules and the ratio of of Ce3+ to Ce4+ which allows for determination of reactivity as a function of exact size and ratio, improving both the reactivity and efficiency compared to traditional nanoparticles. Replacing cerium-oxide nanoparticles with these atomically-precise nanoclusters could increase the efficiency of the various processes that employ them.

Application

Cerium-oxide nanoclusters with improved properties that can be used in chemical and industrial applications ranging from wastewater treatment to chemical mechanical polishing

Advantages

  • Creates atomically-precise nanoclusters, optimizing their activity as effective catalysts
  • Provides ideal particle size, increasing control and reactivity
  • Results in a simpler synthesis process, optimizing production efficiency

Technology

This synthesis of molecular clusters has superior performance to conventional cerium-oxide nanoparticles. These smaller molecules are more accurate in their applications because they are measurable and reliably controlled. These molecular clusters also overcome the deficiencies of conventional cerium-oxide particles by displaying higher reactivity due to their smaller size. Atomically-precise cerium-oxide nanoclusters provide an important alternative route to ultra-small ceria nanoparticles. Such clusters provide all of the advantages of molecular chemistry in a more controlled manner than conventional cerium-oxide nanoparticles.