SBIR Phase I: Synthesis of Metal and Metal Alloy Nanoparticles

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$138K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cosmas
1431 Oakcrest Ln.
Provo, UT 84604
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project addresses the development of a novel solid-state method of synthesizing metal and metal alloy nanoparticles. A method has been developed for metal oxide and mixed metal oxide nanoparticles which can now be extended to the synthesis of metal and metal alloy nanoparticles. This approach will be very low cost and environmentally friendly and will produce high quality nanoparticles of any metal or alloy of any number of metals in exact stoichiometric proportions. The method simply involves mixing common dry chemical starting materials and baking the resulting precursor material at modest temperatures (e.g., 300ýýC) for approximately one hour. If the baking step is performed in the ambient atmosphere, metal oxides are formed; however, if a reducing environment is employed at somewhat higher temperatures, metal nanoparticles are formed. In initial experiments, the metal particles are rather large, 30-50nm as compared to 2-10nm for the oxides, and there is oxide contamination. This project focuses on developing the method to produce small, pure metal and metal alloy nanoparticles. The broader impacts/commercial potential of this project is to develop a nanoparticle synthesis that does not use solvents which would result in a process that is economical and has better enivironmental