Proposal Number: CTS-0129190 Principal Investigator: Gustavo Larsen Institution: University of Nebraska
The objective of this proposal is to develop electrohydrodynamic and chemical methods for fabricating nanoscale spheroidal particles and filaments from transition metals and oxides. Sol-gel chemistry in conjunction with electrically driven liquid jets and droplets will be used to make uniform metal and hybrid organic-inorganic particles and fibrous deposits. Metal alkoxides of Ti, V, Si, and Al will be used in the presence of solvent mixtures to effect fiber and particle formation at electrically driven jets. The fabrication of nanoscale glassy fibers sheathed with an organic resin will be attempted. The design of more complex structures using a novel concentric-tube feed is planned. Basic characterization will be performed using electron microscopy, diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and temperature-programmed decomposition. An international collaboration with scientists from Spain will be established. The Spanish group has expertise in electrospray formation and will assist in the design and modeling of this process. An industrial partner will provide student support and equipment. The materials produced by these methods possess high surface-to-volume ratios and have potential for use as catalysis and sorbents.