According to a report published by Northwestern University , the United States, a group of researchers developed two synthetic materials that have the largest surface ever recorded so far, breaking the world record.
The two materials – called NU-109 and NU-100 – are composed of a crystalline nanostructure, and according to the experts, its most promising feature is the extraordinary inner surface, which can be used as a storage location gases emitted by vehicles and catalysts, for example.
Each nanocrystal materials that form has the approximate size of a grain of salt. However, these grains can be deployed, and can cover an area the size of a desk. So, to give you a better idea of the scope of this new material, a single gram would be sufficient to cover an area of 7000 meters square.
To get access to such a large area, the researchers took advantage of the extreme porosity of the material, which is usually not available due to the presence of molecules that become trapped between your pores.
Thus, by a technique which employs carbon dioxide to dissolve the molecules in the pores, they were able to release all the surface without damaging the new material, transforming its interior into a real “molecular nanojaula” able to store several chemicals.