BINA is a world leader in materials science research. Ranked third in the world in terms of scientific citations in this area, and site of a Marie Curie Training Site for Fabrication of Nanoscale Materials, Bar-Ilan scientists are expanding our understanding and control of molecular and atomic self-assembly. Their discoveries are fueling practical advances in a wide range of areas including energy, computers, communication and health care.
- Innovative methods for nanoparticle fabrication
- Synthesis, characterization and biomedical applications of functional nanoparticles
- Self-assembled monolayer films
- Nanoscale organic and inorganic coatings
- Functional and chiral self-assembly monolayers
- Nanostructures – from individual nanoparticles to functional materials
- Carbon nanotubes growth mechanisms
- Carbon nanotubes synthesis and functionalization
- Colloidal models of phase transition in nano-scale systems
- Computational nanotechnology
Towards Barcoding of Carbon Nanotubes: Electric Field Effect
Barcoding of carbon nanotubes is a long sought after goal. However, due to the homogeneity of CNTs, there is no zone selectivity. Such selectivity could be induced by placing the CNTs in an electric field aligned with their long axis. The resultant induced polarization will direct nucleophilic reactions to one side and electrophilic reactions to the other. Using polyynes of various lengths as a model, we were able to validate this concept. It was found that electric field catalysis is enhanced depending on the length of the rod, on the strength of the field, and on the position of the transition state along the reaction coordinate.
Fluids of colloidal ellipsoids
Colloids, micron-sized particles in a solvent, undergo Brownian motion and mimic the collective behavior of atoms and molecules. Yet, colloids are sufficiently large to allow the structures of their fluids to be studied in real-time and in three spatial dimensions, with a single-particle resolution. This is something that is not achievable for atoms, molecules, or nanoparticles. Researchers at BINA exploited, for the first time, a system of colloidal ellipsoids, gaining an unprecedentedly detailed insight into the interplay between the rotational and the translational degrees of freedom in these fluids. This is a matter of fundamental importance for collective phenomena in systems of non-spherical objects, from atoms and molecules, to nanoparticles and granular matter.
Emulsions, where oil droplets are dispersed in water, commonly occur in everyday cosmetics and food products. The most important properties of emulsions, such as their shelf-life and rheology, are determined by the physics of their interfaces, which is still poorly understood. In particular, while it was classically assumed that the surfaces of emulsion droplets are always liquid, researchers at BINA have recently demonstrated that, in some cases, a nanometer-thick crystalline monolayer forms at emulsion interfaces, dramatically changing their behavior and allowing the most important properties of these emulsions to be externally controlled. These emulsions open new routes towards development of unconventional drug delivery techniques and synthesis of future materials.
Composite electrodes for superb super-capacitors comprising carbon nano-tubes and nano-particles of electrochemically active transition metal oxides
There is an emerging need to develop renewable energy power sources and technologies for sustainable energy storage and conversion. Super-capacitors are distinguished by their high power density and very prolonged cycle life. However, the key limitation for this technology is super-capacitors' low energy density, because the main energy storage mechanism is electrostatic. BINA researchers have dramatically increased the specific capacity of electrodes for super-capacitors – and correspondingly, the energy density of these devices – by developing novel, high-capacity composite electrodes. These include matrices of activated, high-surface-area carbon and carbon nano-tubes embedded therein. Then, within these porous matrices, the team incorporated nano-particles of electrochemically active metal oxides (i.e. MnO2, MoO3 and NiO). These composite electrodes exhibit specific capacitances of several hundred Farads per gram during many thousands of cycles.