UO patent opens way for green nano
and benzene can be replaced with safer, faster,
cheaper non-toxic process
patent issued today (Tuesday, May 4) to the University
of Oregon provides an environmentally benign solution
to an important challenge in nanotechnology.
A process developed by chemistry professor Jim Hutchison
eliminates the need to use two highly toxic chemicals
in the production of functionalized gold nanoparticles.
His innovation is part of the university's effort to
develop safer manufacturing processes for nanoscale
materials, those measuring less than 100 billionths
of a meter.
Nanoscience researchers create new materials through
chemical assembly of molecular building blocks. Researchers
traditionally use diborane, a highly toxic, odorless
and colorless gas that auto-ignites near room temperature,
and the toxic solvent benzene to synthesize an important
class of metal nanoparticles.
Hutchison and his students developed a new synthetic
procedure that eliminates the use of diborane and benzene
for that process. In addition to being safer for the
chemists and the environment, Hutchison's process takes
just a few hours, instead of days, and significantly
reduces the cost of making these nanoparticles.
The patented process is a major step toward establishing
"green" nanotechnology practices. The pioneering
work in the Hutchison chemistry labs applies green chemistry
principles to the field of nanoscience. Green chemistry
principles focus on reducing, recycling or eliminating
the use of toxic chemicals in chemistry by finding creative
ways to minimize the human and environmental impact
without stifling scientific progress.
"UO is a recognized leader in the emerging field
of green chemistry that has eliminated the use of many
toxic materials in chemistry labs throughout the nation,"
said Richard Linton, UO's vice president for research
and graduate studies. "This innovation demonstrates
the UO's capabilities in green nanotechnology and is
an enabling step toward making production of nanoscale
materials more practical."
Now that the patent has been issued, Linton says, a
spin-off company may be created to market the process
to nanotechnology researchers worldwide.
Potential applications for Hutchison's process include
research and development of nano-electronics, including
tiny transistors, sensors and diagnostic assays.
The University of Oregon is a partner in the Oregon
Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI),
a collaboration involving the UO, Portland State University,
Oregon State University, the Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory and high-tech private industry that is leveraging
the state of Oregon's strengths in nanoscience and microscale
story has been adapted from a news release -
Diese Meldung basiert auf einer Pressemitteilung -
tekst is gebaseerd op een nieuwsbericht -