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Multi-Functional Nanomaterials by Surfactant-Assisted Fabrication


Due to current manufacturing methods, nanomaterials suffer from a lack of uniformity resulting in efficiency and reliability issues. Sandia National Laboratories developed an innovative crystallization method that produces well-defined multi-functional nanomaterials.


Sandia’s nanomaterials are produced using a seeding and growing process within surfactantconfined nanostructures (micelles, emulsions, and mesophases). This process provides unique control over shape, size, composition, and reproducibility—currently unachievable with traditional manufacturing methods. This process also provides the ability to adjust chemical and physical nature of nanomaterials at different crystallization stages, enabling further tunability to achieve desirable functions and properties. Sandia has used this method to successfully produce a wide variety of nanomaterials such as porphyrins, energetic materials, and nanoparticles. The functional materials produced through this process exhibit superior performance at a fraction of the cost in important applications including photo-degradation of organic pollutants, photocatalytic hydrogen production, synthesis of fuel cell catalysts, and phototherapy in comparison with existing catalysts.


  • Cost effective manufacturing method
  • Improved performance & reliability
  • Scalable production
  • Environmentally benign process
  • Ability to create novel particle shapes
  • Uniform shape, size, and composition

Applications and Industries

  • Photo-degradation of organic pollutants
  • Photocatalytic hydrogen production
  • Synthesis of fuel cell catalysts
  • Phototherapy

Additional Information

Multi-functional Nanomaterials Video

Intellectual Property

ID Number
Patent Number
Synthesis of porphyrin nanostructures 11718.0 8,871,926 10/28/2014
Technology IDSD#11718Development StagePrototype - Sandia estimates the technology readiness level is 3. Concept demonstrated analytically or experimentally. AvailabilityAvailablePublished03/07/2018Last Updated03/05/2019