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

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TechConnect Summit
Clean Technology 2008

Bio-Inspired Synthesis of Nanostructured Semiconductors and Ferroelectrics

A.R. Tao
University of California, Santa Barbara, US

bio materials, nanoparticles, solar, battery, memory

Materials fabrication for viable application in future solar, battery, and memory technologies must be low-cost, environmentally benign, and massively scalable for manufacturing compatibility. To develop an appropriate strategy to meet these challenges, we look to biomineralizing systems that operate under aqueous conditions at standard temperature and pressure for synthetic design principles. Based on our observations of how the sea sponge Tethya aurantia mineralizes optical-grade silica from soluble precursors into protein-templated spicule structures, we have developed a general route for the low-temperature production of a wide range of nanostructured metal oxide, -hydroxide, -phosphate and perovskite materials. Unique due to the absence of organic templates, our method relies on the kinetic control of nucleation and growth during acid or base-catalyzed hydrolysis reactions. This has led to the first low-temperature synthesis of barium titanate nanoparticles with high monodispersity, good capacitive properties and high crystallinity. We have also used this process for the synthesis of both supported and free-standing nanostructured thin films, such as cobalt hydroxide and zinc oxide. These batch-produced materials are now being explored for improved energy conversion and storage, ferroelectric random access memory (FeRAM), infrared and piezoelectric detectors, optoelectronics and flexible displays.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract