On the dimensional control of 2D hybrid nanomaterials

A. Longo, D.J. Mulder, H.P.C. van Kuringen, D. Hermida-Merino, D. Banerjee, D. Dasgupta, I.K. Shishmanova, A.B. Spoelstra, D.J. Broer, A.P.H.J. Schenning, G. Portale

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Thermotropic smectic liquid crystalline polymers were used as a scaffold to create organic/inorganic hybrid layered nanomaterials. Different polymers were prepared by photopolymerizing blends of a hydrogen bonded carboxylic acid derivative and a 10 % cross-linker of variable length in their liquid crystalline phase. Nanopores with dimensions close to 1 nm were generated by breaking the hydrogen bonded dimers in a high pH solution. The pores were filled with positively charged silver (Ag) ions, resulting in a layered silver(I)-polymeric hybrid material. Subsequent exposure to a NaBH4 reducing solution allowed for the formation of supported hybrid metal/organic films. In the bulk of the film the dimension of the Ag nanoparticles (NPs) was regulated with subnanometer precision by the cross-linker length. Ag nanoparticles with an average size of 0.9, 1.3, and 1.8 nm were produced inside the nanopores thanks to the combined effect of spatially confined reduction and stabilization of the nanoparticles by the polymer carboxylic groups. At the same time, strong Ag migration occurred in the surface region, resulting in the formation of a nanostructured metallic top layer composed of large (10–20 nm) NPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12534-12541
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry : A European Journal
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2017


  • liquid crystals
  • nanoparticles
  • nanoporous polymers
  • polymers
  • supported hybrid networks


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