Case 10391

Novel material with controllable sub-nanometer morphology


Nanotechnology, nanoparticles, surface engineering, ligand shell, molecule orientation, catalysis, water purification, antimicrobials


Oil-water separation, chemical catalysis, antimicrobial activity


Conveniently synthesizing nanomaterials that present sub-nanometer features on their outside ligand shell to produce unique properties


This invention discloses a new family of mixed ligand nanoparticles that show sub-nanometer patterns (e.g. ridges) on their ligand shell. Some of these particles have ridges composed of hydrophilic valleys and hydrophobic peaks. For the first time, there exists the ability to control the supramolecular ordering of the organic ligands on the nanoparticle surfaces, and also to control the surface properties of nanoparticles by varying the mixture of ligands introduced during nanoparticle synthesis. These particles show unique and unexpected solubility, self-assembly and surface chemistry properties.

  • Unique easily controllable properties such as solubility, surface chemistry and reactivity
  • First known materials that exhibit sub-nanometer features
  • Simple synthetic method that can be readily implemented on a large industrial scale

  • Professor Francesco Stellacci(Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT)
  • Alicia Jackson (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Patent Number 7,597,950, issued on October 6, 2009



Last revised:April 29, 2013

>>List of MIT Energy IP<<