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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Spectroscopy of molecules embedded within the micropores and mesopores of aluminophosphate and metal-organic framework materials

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.04.01  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry  Phyisical chemistry 

Code Science Field
P260  Natural sciences and mathematics  Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic and optical properties, supraconductors, magnetic resonance, relaxation, spectroscopy 

Code Science Field
1.04  Natural Sciences  Chemical sciences 
Keywords
drug-delivery systems, long-term heat storage, carbon dioxide separation and capture, metal-organic porous materials, aluminophosphates, nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, adsorption sites, interactions within the pores
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (11)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  08387  PhD Iztok Arčon  Physics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  766 
2.  33203  PhD Tomaž Čendak  Physics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  41 
3.  03373  PhD Venčeslav Kaučič  Chemistry  Researcher  2013  647 
4.  35379  PhD Andraž Krajnc  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2013 - 2016  111 
5.  18146  PhD Gregor Mali  Physics  Head  2013 - 2016  381 
6.  30634  Darja Maučec    Technical associate  2014 - 2016  47 
7.  25023  PhD Matjaž Mazaj  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2016  286 
8.  29027  PhD Mojca Rangus  Physics  Researcher  2013 - 2016  105 
9.  15790  PhD Alenka Ristić  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2016  271 
10.  31595  PhD Emanuela Trstenjak  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2013  36 
11.  14120  PhD Nataša Zabukovec Logar  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2016  539 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,316 
2.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  14,206 
Abstract
Within the frame of the proposed project we shall carry out an atomic-level study of adsorption of molecules into the micropores and mesopores of the metal-organic and aluminophosphate materials. The study will be devoted to three sorts of applications of porous materials, to drug delivery, to sorption-based long-term heat storage and to separation and storage of carbon dioxide. We shall combine two powerful complementary techniques, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. With these two techniques we will be able to employ almost all constituents of the porous matrices and of the adsorbed molecules as the local probes for the inspection of the pores. These local probes will comprise nuclei or atoms of hydrogen, carbon, aluminium, phosphorus and many metallic atoms or nuclei (iron, chromium, magnesium, calcium). In this way we shall yield experimental data about the adsorption sites and about the nature and strength of the interactions of the adsorbed drug molecules, water molecules and carbon-dioxide molecules with the porous matrices. In the drug-delivery systems the investigation will predominantly focus on the elucidation of the physical state of the drug embedded within the mesopores, on the mechanism of the drug incorporation and release, and on the atomic-scale insight into the interactions between the drug molecules and the walls of the porous material. In sorption-based heat-storage materials we shall carefully identify adsorption centers within the porous framework and compare gradual adsorption and temperature dependent desorption of water molecules in functionalized and non-functionalized frameworks. In a similar way the influence of polar functional groups and of coordinatively unsaturated metallic sites on the adsorption of molecules will be monitored in materials for carbon dioxide separation and capture. The described studies will improve our understanding of adsorption and elucidate the required properties for high-performance materials for drug delivery and for energy and gas storage. This will further enable the design of new materials with higher efficiency.
Significance for science
Within the frame of the proposed project we have carried out a unique atomic-level study of adsorption of molecules into the micropores and mesopores of the metal-organic and aluminophosphate materials. The study was devoted to three sorts of applications of porous materials, to drug delivery systems, to long-term heat storage and heat reallocation systems, and to systems for carbon dioxide separation and storage. Although numerous investigations on these types of applications had already been carried out, until now there existed very little direct experimental evidence about the exact location and about interactions of the drug molecules, water molecules, and molecules of carbon dioxide within the micropores and mesopores. Within the project we performed a very detailed study which yielded a microscopic insight and experimental data on adsorption sites and on the nature and strength of interactions in which the above listed molecules are involved. In some cases the investigation combined two powerful complementary techniques, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. With these two techniques we were able to employ almost all constituents of the porous matrices and of the adsorbed molecules as the local probes for the inspection of the pores. These local probes comprised nuclei or atoms of hydrogen, carbon, aluminium, phosphorus and many metallic atoms or nuclei (iron, chromium, magnesium, calcium). The study improved our understanding of adsorption and elucidated the required properties for high-performance materials for drug delivery and for energy and gas storage. This understanding will further enable one to design new materials with higher efficiency. The combined approach based on two complementary spectroscopic techniques will also serve as a model approach for the study of complex systems, even for such systems that lack long-range order.
Significance for the country
Drug-delivery systems are an interesting family of pharmaceuticals. Based on the results of the project we have learned, how physico-chemical properties of a certain drug can be changed if we incorporate it into a mesoporous delivery system. Because there are two successful and innovative pharmaceutical companies in Slovenia, the described knowledge will be very interesting for them. Through our long-term collaboration with local pharmaceutical companies we also became aware of the importance of modern characterization techniques for studying the interactions between active substances and excipients in the final drug formulations. Within the frame of the project we developed a simple yet powerful NMR-based method for the analysis of heterogeneous materials. The method could be very useful also for the above described pharmaceutical products and we hope that it will attract an interest of the laboratories of the Slovenian pharmaceutical companies. Heat-storage materials bear a two-fold importance for Slovenia. Their production could be very interesting for the local industry and their application would be very important in the attempts to protect environment. With Slovenia's geographic location very high energy savings could be achieved if seasonal storage of solar energy and waste heat was available. Investigations carried out within the proposed project show that zeolite-like aluminophosphate materials could become commercially interesting materials for long-term heat storage and short-term heat allocation. That is why we already collaborate with Silkem from Kidričevo, a company that has experiences in aluminosilicate production and marketing. This company could very quickly adapt its production line for the production of aluminophosphate-based heat-storage materials. But before transferring the knowledge on the material's preparation from laboratory to industrial scale, applied studies should be performed, within which aluminophosphates would be tested in heat-pump and cooling devices. Unfortunately, Slovenian companies have not shown any interest in the results of our investigations and they have not responded to our proposals for common applied projects. (On the contrary, a German company that develops heat pumps and cooling devices did respond and we have already started some initial applied investigations with our material.) In the field of separation and capture of carbon dioxide, the most promising materials come from the family of metal-organic frameworks. Because this family of materials is very young, our findings about the performance of adsorbents and about the mechanism of carbon-dioxide adsorption into them will most probably not be transferred to industry as quickly as the findings in the other two research fields. Still, the topic is very important for Slovenia, since the investigated materials could be employed, for example, in the cleaning of industrial waste gases.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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