The synthesis of mesoporous and microporous materials is often approached as a one step process (e.g. sol-gel synthesis of zeolites). In this project, we propose the use of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) for engineering the synthesis of catalytic materials. The first step consists of the production of a nanoporous scaffold (using existing methods), followed by ALD to engineer the interior surface of the pores in this scaffold. ALD is thus envisioned as a gas phase impregnation method
- to engineer the presence of catalytle sites on the pore walls, and
- to engineer pore size through atomic level control of the thickness of the deposited film.
The application of Atomic Layer Deposition to nanoporous materials can thus result in catalyst environments with tailored cahnnel sizes and wall compositions. The proposed two-step process allows for independent optimization of the overall pore structure and of the density and type of catalytic sites.