Molecular size-selective vessel: Spherical nano-net

Young Woong Suh, Mayfair C. Kung, Y. M. Wang, Harold H. Kung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A molecular-size cavity that possesses a functionalized interior, where chemical storage or transformation occurs is an essential component in many natural systems, such as an enzyme or a mineral zeolite. A cavity of this type, with a tunable size, enclosed by a porous, net-like shell of one- to two-atom layer thick and accessible by different molecules will have many potential applications such as reservoir for metal ions and molecules for targeted delivery, and as vessel for size-selective chemical and catalytic reactions. We describe a strategy to synthesize such a nano-net structure and demonstrate it with the synthesis of a 2 nm siloxane net with interior amine groups. The structure exhibits molecular size-selectivity, which is demonstrated using different-size chromophores such as ninhydrin and Zn porphyrin that are well-known probes to bind amine groups. The siloxane nano-net is also endowed with an ability to coordinate metal ions in the interior of the cavity. This feature is confirmed using exposure of nano-net to an aqueous Mo- or W-staining solution, followed by high resolution electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. The amine groups are chemically active, which is illustrated with the amine-catalyzed decomposition of acetoacetic acid to acetone and CO2, and their catalytical properties are altered by the nano-net environment. The method can be readily adapted to nano-nets of different dimensions and for different interior functional groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication05AIChE
Subtitle of host publication2005 AIChE Annual Meeting and Fall Showcase, Conference Proceedings
Number of pages1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event05AIChE: 2005 AIChE Annual Meeting and Fall Showcase - Cincinnati, OH, United States
Duration: Oct 30 2005Nov 4 2005


Other05AIChE: 2005 AIChE Annual Meeting and Fall Showcase
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCincinnati, OH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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