2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

Partnering Events:

TechConnect Summit
Clean Technology 2008

Nanotechnology at BASF - Precursor Nano-Structures in Crystallization Processes

J. Rieger

nanotechnology, BASF, precursor nano-structures, crystallization processes

BASF is one of the leading companies in the field of chemical nanotechnology. The company is using nanotechnology to improve the existing product portfolio, to create new products and further develop existing ones. BASF comprises all the expertise necessary to benefit from the full potential of nanotechnology: from special analytical methods and expertise in chemistry, physics and biology and the engineering sciences through to the safe handling of new materials. Examples from various fields of activities will be discussed. As a specific – and scientifically highly interesting – example for nanotechnology precursor nano-structures occurring in crystallization processes will be discussed in more detail: Crystallization of inorganic (and organic) matter often proceeds via intermediate stages – rather than by simple nucleation and growth mechanisms [1]. These precursor stages not only comprise crystal modifications that are less stable than the final one (Ostwald’s rule of stages), but also amorphous, hydrated nanoparticles and emulsion-like precursors have been observed. Structural information on all these intermediates – and by which mechanisms they form – is essential for the understanding of biomineralization, the control of crystallization and for the development of additives to control the formation and stabilization of nanoparticles. Recent data on the structural evolution of precipitating CaCO3 obtained by means of X-ray microscopy and quench cryo-transmission electron microscopy will be presented, emphasizing that the respective particle formation processes do not follow classical nucleation and growth mechanisms [2]. The stabilization of initially forming CaCO3-nanoparticles plays an essential role when optimizing polymeric additives for scale inhibition in various applications. Since charged polymers, like polycarboxylates, not only interact with the inorganic precursors and crystals but also with the cations right from the beginning of the crystallization it is essential to understand the details of this interaction. Recent time-resolved molecular modelling experiments on the complexation mechanisms of calcium to polycarboxylates unravel an unexpected richness in the binding process [3].

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract