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EPSRC CDT in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future

Sensor CDT student finds a way to design a “ship” inside the nano-sized bottle

Tiesheng Wang from the 2014 cohort and his collaborators have figured out a generic way to confine materials inside a space with a typical dimension of 1-to-2 nm, a bit like building a ship inside a bottle. 

They have established a rational approach, called Pourbaix Enabled Guest Synthesis (PEGS), to identify the boundary conditions for a desired ship-in-a-bottle synthesis to form guest materials inside nanopores. The work is published in Nature Communications. As an experimental demonstration, Tiesheng successfully placed RuO2 inside the nano-cavity of a metal-organic framework (MOF), MOF-808-P. Tiesheng and his collaborators also found a significantly weaker CO adsorption on RuO2 when RuO2 is inside MOF’s cavity instead of on silica surface like the conventional RuO2-based catalyst. By preventing strong CO adsorption at low temperatures they have developed a highly active and stable catalyst for CO oxidation close to room temperature. 

In the press release, Tiesheng is quoted as saying "The upcoming impact can be enormous. Since quantum theory describes nature at atomic-to-subatomic scales, the work that helps to achieve new confined states at small scales may contribute to the foundation to explore the quantum world experimentally."

Tiesheng recently moved to Australia where he works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Chemistry, of the University of Sydney. He is also the Warden of the Molecular Materials Laboratory.