NON-TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION. Silicon oxynitrides are ceramic materials that have high mechanical and thermal strength and chemical stability. The synthesis of silicon oxynitrides (SONs) with nanoscale and nanoporous structures, structures with onethousandths of the diameter of a human hair, produces high surface area efficient catalysts, filtration membranes, sensors, nanoelectronics thin film devices and dielectric materials nanoelectronics applications. In this project, rational and facile synthetic methods involving controlled nitridization of pre-made mesoporous metal oxides such as organosilicas will be investigated and tunable mesoporous silicon oxynitride (SON) materials and thin films will be developed. By synthesizing SON with nanoscale and nanoporous structures and variable compositions and structures, it will be possible to improve their properties such as surface areas, dielectric constants, quantum confinement and luminescence. These enhancements will further improve their catalytic efficiency and properties for applications in gate dielectric devices, and photonic crystal waveguides. By understanding the kinetics and mechanisms of nitridization on various mesoporous organosilicas, low cost synthetic methods to SONs with tunable nanostructures and properties will ultimately result. The method can also further be adapted to other ceramic materials such as silicon carbides and silicon oxycarbide ceramics. The project will allow the training of undergraduate students, including minority students, and graduate students to be actively involved to learn solid-state ceramic nanomaterials synthesis and understand structure-property relationships. The students results in this project are expected also to generate publications and be presented at national conferences. TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION. Ceramics are diverse materials with interesting mechanical, thermal, chemical, and optical properties and possessing a wide range of potential applications. Their high strength and thermal stability make them ideal for products subject to heavy use and wear and tear such as high speed ball bearings and cutting tool inserts. In recent years, research on silicon oxynitride (SON) ceramics has targeted novel applications including catalysis, where the solid SON ceramic participates in base-catalyzed chemical reactions. Attention has also turned to investigations of these materials in nanoscale applications, where the size of the material is 1/1000th of the width of a human hair. This project by Professor Asefa is exploring special type of ceramics, those made from nanoporous silicon oxynitrides, in applications such as catalysis, filtration membranes, sensors, and nanoelectronics thin film devices and dielectric materials for metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuits. Current methods to synthesize nanostructured silicon oxynitrides are not optimum - they require harsh conditions and result in products whose structures are not as consistent and uniform as required. In this project, rational and facile synthetic methods involving controlled nitridization of pre-made mesoporous organosilca into tunable mesoporous silicon oxynitride materials and thin films will be developed. The approaches are expected to result in nanostructured and nanoporous ceramics having variable compositions and structures, and improved properties such as surface areas, dielectric constants, quantum confinement and luminescence. These enhancements will further improve their efficiency for solid-base catalysis, gate dielectric devices, and photonic crystal waveguides. Undergraduate students, including minority students, and graduate students will be actively involved in the proposed project and they will learn solid-state ceramic nanomaterials synthesis and understanding structure-property relationships nanoceramics. The students will present their research results at the department's undergraduate seminars and at the American Chemical Society Regional Meetings.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/09 → 6/30/13|
- National Science Foundation (NSF)