Kenneth S. Suslick, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is supported by the Inorganic, Bioinorganic and Organometallic Chemistry Program for continuing studies of the chemical effects of high intensity ultrasound. Suslick is conducting detailed studies of acoustic cavitation and also applying sonochemistry to the synthesis of advanced materials. Sonoluminescence will be used as a spectroscopic probe of reaction conditions and kinetics during sonication. These physical studies will be extended to new solvent systems, including common organic solvents and ionic liquids. Sonochemistry will also be used to prepare new transition metal colloids from organometallic precursors, hydrodesulfurization catalysts and hydrocarbon reforming catalysts. A new method for generating nanometer-sized particles, ultrasonic spray pyrolysis, will be developed and applied to the production of semiconductor chalcogenides and ceramics.
High intensity ultrasound is used in industrial and microelectronics processes, for welding, emulsification, dispersion and cleaning. It is also increasingly used to effect unique chemical transformations induced by the high temperatures and pressures present in bubbles as they collapse when liquids are irradiated with high intensity ultrasound. Students trained by this project will have unique and valuable experience in this important new chemical process.