Production of High Performance Nanomaterials in Microgravity (Nanoskeleton) - 07.15.14
ISS Science for Everyone
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.
Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
ISS Expedition Duration
October 2009 - March 2010
Previous ISS Missions
Nanoskeleton was scheduled for its first operations on ISS Increment 19/20.
- 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.
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.
Sakai T, Sakai T, Yano H, Shibata H, Endo T, Sakamoto K, Fukui H, Koshikawa N, Sakai H, Abe M. Pore-size expansion of hexagonal-structured nanocrystalline titania/CTAB Nanoskeleton using cosolvent organic molecules. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 2010 November; 371(1-3): 29-39.
Shibata H, Ohshika S, Ogura T, Watanabe S, Nishio K, Sakai H, Abe M, Hashimoto K, Matsumoto M. Preparation and photocatalytic activity under visible light irradiation of mesostructured titania particles modified with phthalocyanine in the pores. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry. 2011 January; 217(1): 136-140. DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2010.09.029.
Dai S, Wu Y, Sakai T, Sakai T, Du Z, Sakai H, Abe M. Preparation of highly crystalline TiO2 nanostructures by acid-assisted hydrothermal treatment of hexagonal-structured nanocrystalline titania/cetyltrimethyammonium bromide nanoskeleton. Nanoscale Research Letters. 2010 August 11; 5(11): 1829-1835. DOI: 10.1007/s11671-010-9720-0.
Onodera M, Nagumo R, Miura R, Suzuki A, Tsuboi H, Hatakeyama N, Endou A, Takaba H, Kubo M, Miyamoto A. Multiscale simulation of dye-sensitized solar cells considering Schottky barrier effect at photoelectrode. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics. 2011 April 20; 50(4): 04DP06. DOI: 10.1143/JJAP.50.04DP06.
Ground Based Results Publications