CAMP is an interdisciplinary
science and engineering
endeavor dedicated to research on high-technology materials processing. This research is focused on the production, modification and conversion of matter for which "small" particles, colloidal media and / or surfaces play an important role in the process and /or properties of the final product. Presented here are some highlights of the research during CAMP's fourteenth year as a New York State Center for Advanced Technology

CAMP to House Clarkson University's Center for Quantum Device Technology

Clarkson University has received a $ 1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a center to study quantum physics. The Center will be located in the CAMP building and directed by Physics Professor Vladimir Privman. (See the article "CAMP Professor Privman's Research Involves Quantum Physics" in the June 2001 CAMP Newsletter.) The focus of the Center will be using the principles of quantum physics to build computers that are much smaller and faster than current models. Professor Privman has been working with scientists at Harvard University to create a working model of a quantum computer. That research was instrumental in obtaining the NSF grant. In addition, several other topical grants covering the Center's research have recently been awarded to Professor Privman and the co-investigators. Other Clarkson Professors involved with the Center include Professor Ming-Cheng Cheng ( Electrical and Computer Engineering Department), Professor Christino Tamon (Math and Computer Science Department), and Professor M. Lawrence Glasser (Physics Department). Also Dr. Mozyrsky, of Los Alamos National Laboratory, will be working with Clarkson's scientists.



THE Research

Particle Synthesis and Properties

CAMP's Annual Technical Meeting 2001


Professor Egon Matijevic¢ (the Victor K. LaMer Chair in Colloid and Surface Science) pioneered the field of the preparation of well-defined particles in a variety of chemical compositions and shapes, which have found numerous uses in modern technology and medicine. In the past, the majority of dispersions were obtained by precipitation in homogeneous solutions, mostly at elevated temperatures.

In a new research program, enzymes are used to produce inorganic particles in processes that simulate those in natural environments. Of specific interest has been the formation of calcium carbonate polymorphs of different sizes and shapes, which are important in the geo- and bioscience areas. For example, these mineral phases are components of some biological composite materials. Therefore the understanding, of molecular mechanisms that control such biomineralization processes, offers new possibilities in the synthesis of high-performance materials, including nanocomposites under very mild experimental conditions.

Research Scholar Dr. Ivan Sondi and Professor Egon Matijevic' have shown that calcium carbonate polymorphs can be precipitated by the activity of the enzyme urease, added to solutions containing calcium salts and urea at room temperature.

They found that the properties of these precipitates were little affected by the concentration of salts, but strongly influenced by the amount of the added enzyme.




























Two such products are illustrated in scanning electron micrographs (Figures 1 and 2),which exhibit different morphologies of calcium carbonate particles obtained by modifying the experimental conditions. It is noteworthy that the particles shown in Figure 1 indicate sequential growth, which is typical for the formation of calcium carbonate under the influence of proteins. The particles in Figure 2 have characteristic features of intercellular crystals that appear in living organisms. The chosen experimental system does simulate processes that take place in nature where certain bacteria excrete urease, which then interacts with urea formed by biodegradation processes of organic materials in the presence of abundant amounts of calcium salts.


CAMP Distinguished Professor Janos Fendler and his group at CAMP have developed a versatile and economically viable method for the construction of nanostructured films. Films, self-assembled from polymers, nanoparticles ( or nanoplatelets), have substantially different mechanical, optical, electrical, electro-optical, magnetic and magneto-optical properties than films prepared from the same bulk materials. Using this approach, Professor Fendler and his group have constructed electron transfer and charge storage devices


Figure 1. The particles shown here indicate sequential growth, which is typical for the formation of calcium carbonate under the influence of proteins

Figure 2. The particles shown here have characteristic features of intercellular crystals that appear in living organisms.


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