Innovation Sphere



Project TitleShape-Controlled Cement Hydrate Synthesis and Self-Assembly
Track CodeTech ID 2014-101
Short DescriptionNone
TagsCalcium silicate hydrate, Cementitious, nanoparticles
Posted DateNov 18, 2016 12:36 PM


Calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) is the primary product of cement hydration, and the fundamental properties of cementitious materials are dependent to a great extent on the shape and packing of the CSH nanoparticles that serve as their building blocks.  Controlling the morphology, crystal size, and porosity of the CSH nanoparticles is important to determining their biocompatibility, stability, and electrical and mechanical properties.  


Rice researchers have developed a surfactant-assisted sonochemical method to produce shape- and size-controlled CSH nanoparticles that can self-assemble into densely packed cementitious systems.

Benefits and Features

  • Adjustment of stoichiometry (calcium source to silicate source), surfactant, solvent, and/or reaction conditions allows for controlled and selective production of a variety of CSH nanoparticle shapes and sizes, including cubic, rectangular, spherical, and rod-like particles
  • CSH particles of present invention can self-assemble to form a very compact microstructure of cement hydrate with near zero porosity
  • Simple and environmentally friendly method using affordable starting materials
  • Provides cementitious materials with improved mechanical properties, durability and near zero porosity

Market Potential / Applications

The method has applicability in all types of cementitious materials.  The biocompatibility, stability, and heat-insulating ability of the calcium silicate hydrate provide advantages in dental or bone cements.

Development and Licensing Status

This invention has been demonstrated at the lab scale.    

This technology is available for license on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.  A US utility patent application has been filed (see WO 2015/171745).

Rice Researcher

Prof. Rouzbeh Shahsavari holds joint appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering at Rice University.   More information about Prof. Shahsavari and his research interests can be found at

Technology Relevant Papers and Web Links

Case #

Tech ID 2014-101

Inquiries to:

Neha Malik (