Project

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Molecular Alignment Chips

English title Molecular Alignment Chips
Applicant Brühwiler Dominik
Number 140303
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institute of Facility Mangement Life Sciences & Facility Management ZHAW
Institution of higher education Zurich University of Applied Sciences - ZHAW
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.10.2012 - 30.06.2016
Approved amount 218'008.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Physical Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Material Sciences
Organic Chemistry

Keywords (9)

silica; alignment; separation; nanochannel; host-guest; mesopore; membrane; light-harvesting; solar energy

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The project aims to develop methods for the synthesis of arrays of silica nanochannels with disc-shaped morphology and tunable pore size. These so-called Molecular Alignment Chips (MACs) are promising host materials for the supramolecular organization of guests. The project focuses on two specific applications of MACs, namely light-harvesting and size-selective separation. Dye-MACs inclusion compounds are prepared and applied as active centers in luminescent solar concentrators, with the goal of reducing the considerable self-absorption losses that are present in classical concentrator designs. Minimized self-absorption is the key to lowering the cost of solar electricity by equipping small solar cells with luminescent solar concentrators for light-harvesting. Furthermore, host-guest systems based on MACs with fine-tunable pore sizes will provide insight concerning the influence of confinement effects on the long-term stability of the guests and thus contribute to the development of photostable pigments. MACs membranes will be synthesized with fully accessible and oriented nanochannels. Superior performance in size-selective separation of nanoparticles and biomolecules will be obtained by providing MACs with narrow pore size distributions. Apart from the applications in light-harvesting and size-selective separation, we expect MACs to become a versatile platform for the alignment of molecules and macromolecules, thereby inspiring new concepts in the field of optics and optoelectronics.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Bimodal Mesoporous Silica with Bottleneck Pores
Reber Michael J., Brühwiler Dominik (2015), Bimodal Mesoporous Silica with Bottleneck Pores, in Dalton Transactions, 44, 17960-17967.
Incorporation of a FRET Dye Pair into Mesoporous Materials: A Comparison of Fluorescence Spectra, FRET Activity and Dye Accessibility
Widmer Susanne, Reber Michael J., Müller Patrick, Housecroft Catherine E., Constable Edwin C., Rossi René M., Brühwiler Dominik, Scherer Lukas J., Boesel Luciano F. (2015), Incorporation of a FRET Dye Pair into Mesoporous Materials: A Comparison of Fluorescence Spectra, FRET Activity and Dye Accessibility, in Analyst, 140, 5324-5334.
Massgeschneiderte Nanokanäle
Brühwiler Dominik, Reber Michael J., Zucchetto Nicola (2015), Massgeschneiderte Nanokanäle, in Transfer, 6-6.
Mesoporous Hybrid Materials by Simultaneous Pseudomorphic Transformation and Functionalization of Silica Microspheres
Reber Michael J., Brühwiler Dominik (2015), Mesoporous Hybrid Materials by Simultaneous Pseudomorphic Transformation and Functionalization of Silica Microspheres, in Particle & Particle Systems Characterization, 32, 243-250.
Tuning the aspect ratio of arrays of silica nanochannels
Zucchetto Nicola, Brühwiler Dominik (2015), Tuning the aspect ratio of arrays of silica nanochannels, in RSC Advances, 5, 74638-74644.
Development of Luminescent Solar Concentrators: Molecular Alignment Chips
Brühwiler Dominik, Reber Michael J. (2014), Development of Luminescent Solar Concentrators: Molecular Alignment Chips, Bundesamt für Energie BFE, Bern.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Henrik Braband, University of Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Luciano F. Boesel, EMPA St. Gallen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Lukas Scherer, EMPA St. Gallen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
250th American Chemical Society National Meeting Talk given at a conference Pseudomorphic transformation: Simultaneous functionalization of silica microspheres and synthesis of bimodal SBA-15/MCM-41 with bottleneck pores 16.08.2015 Boston, United States of America Reber Michael;
CMSZH Graduate School Retreat Individual talk Pseudomorphic Transformation of Kromasil 09.01.2015 Zuoz, Switzerland Reber Michael;
Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting 2014 Poster Pseudomorphic transformation and simultaneous functionalization of silica 11.09.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Reber Michael;
IMPE Seminar Individual talk Lichtmanagement mit Molekülen in Nanokanälen 21.08.2014 Winterthur, Switzerland Brühwiler Dominik;
F&E Lunch ZHAW Individual talk Lichtmanagement für Solarzellen 19.11.2013 Wädenswil, Switzerland Brühwiler Dominik;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Rohstoffe – Grundlagen moderner Technologie German-speaking Switzerland 2013

Awards

Title Year
CMSZH Travel Award sponsored by Perkin Elmer 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
109185 Silica-bound functional nanopockets 01.11.2005 Project funding
172805 Multimodal porous particles 01.07.2017 Project funding
117591 Silica-bound functional nanopockets 01.11.2007 Project funding
149715 Nanoporous Hybrid Optical Fiber Platform 01.02.2014 Project funding

Abstract

The project aims to develop methods for the synthesis of arrays of silica nanochannels with disc-shaped morphology and tunable pore size. These so-called Molecular Alignment Chips (MACs) are promising host materials for the supramolecular organization of guests. The project focuses on two specific applications of MACs, namely light-harvesting and size-selective separation.Dye-MACs inclusion compounds are prepared and applied as active centers in luminescent solar concentrators, with the goal of reducing the considerable self-absorption losses that are present in classical concentrator designs. Minimized self-absorption is the key to lowering the cost of solar electricity by equipping small solar cells with luminescent solar concentrators for light-harvesting. Furthermore, host-guest systems based on MACs with fine-tunable pore sizes will provide insight concerning the influence of confinement effects on the long-term stability of the guests and thus contribute to the development of photostable pigments.MACs membranes will be synthesized with fully accessible and oriented nanochannels. Superior performance in size-selective separation of nanoparticles and biomolecules will be obtained by providing MACs with narrow pore size distributions. Apart from the applications in light-harvesting and size-selective separation, we expect MACs to become a versatile platform for the alignment of molecules and macromolecules, thereby inspiring new concepts in the field of optics and optoelectronics.
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