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. 

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