“Methanol occupies a central role in chemical synthesis and is considered an ideal candidate for cleaner fuel storage and transportation. It can be catalyzed from water and volatile organic compounds, such as carbon dioxide, thereby offering an attractive solution for reducing carbon emissions.”*
In “In Situ Molecular-Level Observation of Methanol Catalysis at the Water–Graphite Interface” the authors show that graphite immersed in ultrapure water is able to spontaneously catalyze methanol from volatile organic compounds in ambient conditions. Using single-molecule resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) in liquid, they directly observe the formation and evolution of methanol–water nanostructures at the surface of graphite.*
The findings described in this article could have a significant impact on the development of organic catalysts and on the function of nanoscale carbon devices
NanoWorld ARROW-UHFAuD AFM probes were used for the Atomic Force Microscopy imaging in liquid.
*William Foster, Juan A. Aguilar, Halim Kusumaatmaja, Kislon Voϊtchovsky In Situ Molecular-Level Observation of Methanol Catalysis at the Water–Graphite Interface
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, 10 (40), pp 34265–34271
Open Access The article “In Situ Molecular-Level Observation of Methanol Catalysis at the Water–Graphite Interface” by William Foster, Juan A. Aguilar, Halim Kusumaatmaja and Kislon Voϊtchovsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
For the AFM measurements in the article “Direct observation of the dynamics of single metal ions at the interface with solids in aqueous solutions” by Ricci, M. et al. a NanoWorld Arrow-UHFAuD AFM probe was used. Congratulations to the authors!
The dynamics of ions adsorbed at the surface of immersed charged solids plays a central role in countless natural and industrial processes such as crystal growth, heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry, or biological function. Electrokinetic measurements typically distinguish between a so-called Stern layer of ions and water molecules directly adsorbed on to the solid’s surface, and a diffuse layer of ions further away from the surface. Dynamics within the Stern layer remain poorly understood, largely owing to a lack of in-situ atomic-level insights. Here we follow the dynamics of single Rb+ and H3O+ ions at the surface of mica in water using high-resolution atomic force microscopy with 25 ms resolution. Our results suggest that single hydrated Rb+ions reside τ1 = 104 ± 5 ms at a given location, but this is dependent on the hydration state of the surface which evolves on a slower timescale of τ2 = 610 ± 30 ms depending on H3O+ adsorption. Increasing the liquid’s temperature from 5 °C to 65 °C predictably decreases the apparent glassiness of the interfacial water, but no clear effect on the ions’ dynamics was observed, indicating a diffusion-dominated process. These timescales are remarkably slow for individual monovalent ions and could have important implications for interfacial processes in electrolytes.
Maria Ricci, William Trewby, Clodomiro Cafolla, Kislon Voïtchovsky Direct observation of the dynamics of single metal ions at the interface with solids in aqueous solutions Nature Scientific Reportsvolume 7, Article number: 43234 (2017)
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