273108 Making Nanostructures - New Views
Monitoring structure in fluid systems with nanometer resolution has challenged chemical engineers interested in a variety of products, including the synthesis of zeolite catalysts and sorbents. I will offer a review and opinions about developments in the last decade in cryo-electron microscopy. Key advances now allow unprecedented resolution with less beam damage than ever before, and it is more readily at the disposal of chemical engineers to reveal intermediates in the development of nanostructured systems.
Examples of such systems, drawn from our own work at Minnesota and from the literature, include: 1) nanocrystal formation from lamellar surfactant precursors, 2) creation of very stable vesicular structures from microemulsions, and 3) nucleation and crystal growth of specific crystalline and nano-ordered phases. I will compare what cryo-microscopy is able to reveal with complementary information available from other methods such as NMR and scattering.
Finally, I hope to show the influence Alex Bell has has on these fields, starting with work in his group in the 1980's asking key questions about what governs the structure development in zeolite formation.