Scalable solution-phase routes to carbides

A method for synthesizing a broad class of metal carbide materials.

The Need

Select early-transition metal carbides have significant catalytic and electrocatalytic applications, including fuel cell reactions and biomass conversion. The hydrogen-transfer reaction rates of these carbides is comparable to expensive, less abundant materials. Therefore, the preparation of monodisperse, crystalline, nanoparticles of metal carbides would have broad structural and catalytic applications, but necessitates development of solution-phase routes that employ porous architecture in solids. The solution-phase growth of carbides has been limited to extremely high temperatures. However, such extreme temperatures lead to the decomposition of the solvents and surfactants that are essential for creating these nanomaterials.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Joshua Goldberger, have developed a solution-phase route for synthesizing a broad class of metal carbide materials. A solution phase route can be enabled by reactions promoting the transfer of ligands from one metal to another. This process allows for growth of new classes of metastable carbides with unique properties.

Commercial Applications

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Nanomaterials
  • Polymer Solution Casting


  • Allows new scalable routes for carbide synthesis, including solution-phase casting processes for thin film coatings as well as 3D printing.
  • Establishing low-temperature synthetic processes allows study of the role of nanomaterial size, surface facet, and defect concentrations on mechanical, catalytic, and electrocatalytic properties of carbides

Loading icon