Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Bruce J Hinds

Abstract

The ability to fabricate a charge-driven water pump is a crucial step toward mimicking the catalytic ability of natural enzyme systems. The first step towards making this water pump a reality is the ability to make a carbon nanotube (CNT) membrane with uniform, 0.8 nm pore diameter. Proposed in this work is a method for synthesizing these carbon nanotubes via VPI-5 zeolite templated, transition metal catalyzed pyrolysis. Using a membrane composed of these CNTs, it is possible to get water molecules to flow single file at a high flow rate, and to orient them in such a way that would maximize their ability to be catalyzed. Additionally, using the ability to plate a monolayer of precious metal catalyst molecules around the exit to the membrane, catalyst efficiency can be maximized by making every catalyst atom come into contact with a substrate molecule. In this work, we also demonstrate the ability to plate a monolayer of precious metal catalyst atoms onto an insulating, mesoporous, support material. By combining these two chemical processes, it is possible to mimic the catalytic efficiency of natural enzyme systems.

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