The catalytic efficiency of metal nanoparticles is strongly influenced by the local environment of the metal nanoparticles. Are the metal nanoparticles accessible from all sides or is there partly a molecular transport barrier to and from the particle? In this project we will investigate the influence of the local metal nanoparticle environment by embedding metal nanoparticles in ceramic materials. Can substrates reach the metal nanoparticles or will they get stuck on the way? Using cleanroom-manufacturing methods, we will synthesize metal nanoparticles at the end of ceramic nanopores down to 5 nm wide, using different metal/ceramic combinations. The catalytic activity of the constructs will then be followed by optical methods. The final aim is to design a nanoscale geometry for optimal efficiency.
Project leader: Prof. Jan Eijkel