Scientists Create Material More Precious Than Diamonds

Posted: Oct 2 2018, 3:31pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 2 2018, 3:38pm CDT, in Latest Science News


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Scientists Create Material More Precious Than Diamonds
Credit: Evan Smith/GIA

Researchers have broken world record by creating a crystalline material with the world's highest specific surface and the highest specific pore volume.

Researchers have created a new record-breaking porous material that was previously considered impossible to achieve. Named DUT-60, the ultra-porous crystalline material holds a pore volume of 5.02 cm3/g. That is the highest specific pore volume measured among all known crystalline framework materials so far.

Porous materials are of great interest to scientific community due to their wide range of applications. Their porosity allows them to store huge amounts of liquids and gases. However, a multitude of pores destabilizes the material.

DUT-60 is a high performance material. The new crystalline framework also has the world’s highest specific surface area, which is the sum of all surface boundaries a material has.

“Materials with specific surfaces as high as these could show new and unexpected phenomena,” said Stefan Kaskel of Germany’s Dresden University of Technology. "If you imagine the inner surface of one gram of zeolite as an even, plane area, it would cover about 800 square meters. Graphene would make it up to almost 3000 square meters. One gram of DUT-60 would attain an area of 7800 square meters."

Most materials are not strong enough to maintain a pore framework and collapse once they get certain numbers. To overcome this, researchers used computational methods. Computational models involve numerical methods and computer simulation to study the behavior of complex systems.

“It took us five years from the computational development to the pure product DUT-60," said Prof. Kaskel. "Due to its very complicated production, the material is more expensive than gold and diamonds, and so far can be only synthesized in small quantities of maximum 50 milligrams per batch."

DUT-60 beat the previous record holder, NU-110. The material also belongs to a class of crystalline nanostructure known as metal-organic framework (MOF) and the internal surface area of one gram of NU-110 would cover one-and-a-half football fields if unfolded.

Thanks to the new material and remarkable control over its stability, researchers can investigate the upper limits of porosity in crystalline porous materials and develop promising ways to create new high quality materials.

“We are working on applications of porous materials within the fields of gas storage, environmental research, catalysis, batteries and air filtration,” said Prof. Kaskel. “Here in Dresden, we are also producing metal organic frameworks on a scale of several kilograms.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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