We believe that Nano-materials are of value only when they are really used, thus the ZNML attaches importance to technology transfer to industry.

ZNML's Main Objectives are:

  • Novel techniques toward Nano Material Synthesis

  • Environmental Application of Nanotechnology


Nano Materials Synthesis

Background: Nanoporous zeolite-like framework materials introduced for the first time in the 1990s. They have drawn tremendous interest among the scientists because of their potential applications in gas-storage, gas separation, gas sensing and catalysis. These materials generally consist of metal–oxygen polyhedra containing divalent (Zn2+, Cu2+), or trivalent (Al3+, Cr3+). Metal cations interconnected with a variety of organic linker molecules result in tailored nanoporous materials. With appropriate choice of linkers, it is possible to fine-tune size, shape, as well as chemical functionality of the cavities and the internal surfaces. This unique structural feature; offers opportunities in molecule separations  and storage, chemical sensors, chiral  synthesis and separations and catalysis.
Description: We have planned to  prepare novel nanomaterials based on zeolitic-like structure including zeolites, metal organic frameworks (MOFs), zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), and related hybrid frameworks for applications in  the molecular separation and storage, catalysis, membrane based technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Our planned research activities can be summarized as following:

  • Design, synthesis, and modification of the zeolite-like frameworks either as powders, shaped, layers etc.
  • Physico-chemical characterization of the materials
  • Theoretic calculations, simulation,  and modeling
  • Evaluate the materials functionalities as adsorbent, storage, catalysts, sensor, etc.
Technical Approach: Because of the interdisciplinary nature of these materials ,collaboration and exchange between chemical engineers, chemists, material scientists, and physicists will be crucial. This project will be funded to provide a synergistic cooperation for the and development (R&D) on zeolite-like nanomaterials having production potential in various areas including oil industries, fine chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and environmental sciences and technologies. 

We have planned to cover the followings subjects:

  • Systematic Study of hydrogen storage in zeolite-like frameworks
  • Applications of modified zeolite-like frameworks for NOx reduction catalysis.
  • GNP loaded Zeolite-like frameworks for CO oxidation
  • New functional zeolite-like Frameworks for (Enantio) selective Catalysis and Separation
  • Application of Novel zeolite-like frameworks as drug carrier and for slow release drugs.
  • Fabrication of zeolite-like frameworks thin layer membrane and investigation of their separation properties.
  • Mixed matrix membranes based on zeolite-like frameworks materials/Polymer Membranes for gas separation.
  • ynthesis and  photo catalytic properties of zeolite-like frameworks catalysts.
  • zeolite-like frameworks for chemical sensors ( chemical recognition)
  • Nano materials based on zeolite-like frameworks
  • In situ monitoring and control of the crystallite growth in colloidal solution
  • Rapid fabrication of zeolite-like frameworks by mean of  microwave-induced solvo-thermal synthesis
  • We have several  ongoing projects on fabrication of  highly ordered and reproducible TiO2 nanotubes and TiO2 nano particles in order to modify their photo-electrical properties  either by doping or dye sensitization.

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Environmental Application of nanotechnology

 To accomplish this mission, the ZNML has recently defined new projects on the synthesis, characterization, modification and applications of zeolitic like framework nano materials. Our goal is to develop advanced nano-catalysts and nano-adsorbents  mostly for applications in the environmental friendly processes including  NOx reduction, CO –oxidation, CO2-adsorption,  H2 -storage, Drug delivery, biodiesel synthesis, etc.
Furthermore, we are developing particular photocatalyst based on modified TiO2 nanotubes and nano particles for air and water purification.


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Contact Info

Zeolitic & Nano Materials Laboratory (ZNML)
Spencer Eng. Bld., Rm. 2026

Tel: (519) 661-4116

(519) 661 -2111

 Ext: 82209
Fax: (519) 661-3498

Email: srohani@uwo.ca