New Nanotech from an Ancient Material

A paper from researchers at the Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Bradley University identifying carbon-based soot as a new nanotechnology has recently been accepted to the Journal of Chemical Education. Dr. Dean Campbell, a Bradley University chemistry professor who joined the CNM as a visiting professor for the 2011-2012 academic year, co-authored the article “New Nanotech from an Ancient Material: Chemistry Demonstrations Involving Carbon-Based Soot” with Mark Andrews and CNM Director Prof. Keith Stevenson.

Although known since antiquity, carbon soot has recently gained popularity as a featured nanoscale material due to its accessibility and low cost. It lends itself to an abundance of chemical applications including an ability to demonstrate phenomena such as Cassie-Baxter wetting, and to produce macroscopic Janus objects. The researchers used candle wax and propane gas combustion to demonstrate carbon soot’s superhydrophobic properties, and light-sooted glass slides and aqueous soot suspensions to show its optical absorption and fluorescence.  The demonstrations discussed in the paper can easily be repeated in a classroom setting.

For a link to the full-text article click here: