Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity (Nanoskeleton) - 09.17.14

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Science Objectives for Everyone
The Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity (Nanoskeleton) investigation aims to clarify the effect of gravity on oil flotation, sedimentation and convection on crystals generated in microgravity.

Science Results for Everyone

Tiny structures, big possibilities. Titanium Dioxide crystalline-based nanoskeletons  --  nano means one-billionth or 10 to the -9  -- were created on the space station as part of an investigation to clarify how gravity affects oil flotation, sedimentation, and convection in crystals grown in microgravity. Some samples were infused with Tri-methylbenzene (TMB) oil to increase the size of pores in the crystalline structure. Samples from the space station appeared almost the same as those on Earth, but microgravity had a significant effect on the distance between pores on nanoskeletons prepared with the TMB oil. Those prepared without TMB oil had more uniform pores, which improved photo-catalytic activity.

The following content was provided by Masahiko Abe, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)

  • Masahiko Abe, Ph.D., Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo, Japan

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Hideki Sakai, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Japan
  • Kenichi Sakai, Tokyo University of Science, Japan
  • Mikijiro Torigoe, Tokyo University of Science, Japan
  • Toshiro Sakai, Shinshu University, Japan
  • Kenji Endo, Tokyo University of Science, Japan
  • Akira Miyamoto, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Nozomu Hatakeyama, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

  • Developer(s)
    Information Pending
    Sponsoring Space Agency
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Information Pending

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    October 2009 - March 2010

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Nanoskeleton was scheduled for its first operations on ISS Increment 19/20.

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • The Nanoskeleton experiment is one of the microgravity experiments conducted for industrial application. Nanoskeleton is a coined word for new-functional nano-materials.

    • The TiO2 Nanoskeleton is synthesized with a mixture of CTAB surfactant solution and TiOSO4-H2SO4 solution under isothermal conditions (40 degrees Celsius).

    • Nanoskeleton will quantitatively investigate the effects of gravity during a chemical reaction process.

    • Nanoskeleton uses oil (TMB) to enlarge the pore size of the honeycomb structure; therefore, this experiment will attempt to clarify the effects of gravity such as the flotation of oil and convective flow, by evaluating the retrieved samples.

    • All of the experiment samples are retrieved and evaluated on the ground.

    • Experiment data gathered on orbit consists of the temperature samples and images.

      Information Pending

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      Space Applications
      Information Pending

      Earth Applications
      The target of this research is to develop the new TiO2 photo catalyst. The experiment data will be inputted into the computational chemistry simulation for Nanoskeleton synthesis, and the simulation will be used for the prediction of the proper parameter for synthesis on the ground.

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      Operational Requirements
      Information Pending

      Operational Protocols
      Information Pending

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      Results/More Information
      Information Pending

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      Results Publications

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      Ground Based Results Publications

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      ISS Patents

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      Related Publications

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      Related Websites

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