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Doug Adamson receives award from NSF

Douglas Adamson received an $130,000 award from the National Science Foundation for Catalytic Formation of Nanostructured Ceramics by Bio-Mimetic and Environmentally Friendly Approach. Adamson is a a research scholar at the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM). Adamson said, "We have shown that by mimicking the relevant functional groups of the protein Silicatein a with a non-peptide synthetic polymer we could observe similar ambient temperature / near neutral pH catalysis of silica ethoxides to condensed silica as is found in the natural material.1 This new NSF grant will now allow us to expand on that work to impart nano-scale structure control to the silica material. Additionally, we will explore other ceramics whose condensation from alkoxide precursors is difficult at extremes of pH. We expect to find applications of this work in such areas as: ceramic coating of surfaces that are sensitive to extremes of pH, catalysis inclusions in a ceramic with nano-sized pores, light weight ceramics with mechanical properties superior to current aerogels, and the formation of robust ceramic filter membranes."
(1) Adamson, D. H.; Dabbs, D. M.; Pacheco, C. R.; Giotto, M. V.; Morse, D. E.; Aksay, I. A., “Non-Peptide Polymeric Silicatein a Mimic for Neutral pH Catalysis in the formation of Silica” Macromolecules, 2007, 40, 5710-5717.

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