Printing out new catalysts


An inkjet printer has been repurposed to create a huge library of potential catalysts. To make the technology work with inorganic reagents that have different chemistries, a collaboration between chemists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, US, and Zhejiang University in China, has created special 'inks' made of colloidal nanoparticles of different metal precursors and polymers that direct the formation of the resulting nanoparticle structures.

Different nanoparticle inks can then be loaded into seperate ink containers and combined in precise amounts, resulting in up to 1 million new formulations an hour, containing up to eight different components. That resulting library can then be explored for new catalysts. 


Related Content

Chemistry World podcast - July 2013

1 July 2013 Podcast | Monthly

news image

Hagan Bayley explains the scientific scope for 3D printing and Chad Mirkin introduces programmable DNA building blocks

Press P to print

25 June 2013 Feature

news image

Katharine Sanderson looks at the rise of 3D printers to create lab equipment, build biomaterials and much more

Most Read

Breakup reaction hints at handedness of nature

25 September 2014 Research

news image

Dissociation of 3-bromocamphor provides clues on why nature favours one mirror image of a molecule over another

Perovskite solar cells show hydrogen production promise

26 September 2014 Research

news image

Highly efficient solar cells and catalysts made from cheap, common materials use sunlight to split water

Most Commented

Viruses melt ‘glassy’ DNA

1 October 2014 Research

news image

Researchers have shown how viruses liquefy their own DNA ready to inject into host cells

Perovskite solar cells show hydrogen production promise

26 September 2014 Research

news image

Highly efficient solar cells and catalysts made from cheap, common materials use sunlight to split water