A nanoporous catalytic membrane which displays several unique features Including pores which can go through the entire thickness of the membrane. The membrane has a higher catalytic and product selectivity than conventional catalysts. Anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes serve as the catalyst substrate. This substrate is then subjected to Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), which allows the controlled narrowing of the pores from 40 nm to 10 nm in the substrate by deposition of a preparatory material. Subsequent deposition of a catalytic layer on the inner surfaces of the pores reduces pore sizes to less than 10 nm and allows for a higher degree of reaction selectivity. The small pore sizes allow control over which molecules enter the pores, and the flow-through feature can allow for partial oxidation of reactant species as opposed to complete oxidation. A nanoporous separation membrane, produced by ALD is also provided for use in gaseous and liquid separations. The membrane has a high flow rate of material with 100% selectivity. Also provided is a method for producing a catalytic membrane having flow-through pores and discreet catalytic clusters adhering to the inside surfaces of the pores.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract number W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.