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Nanostructured Metals Synthesized in Swollen Liquid Crystals

G. Surendran, L. Ramos, E. Prouzet and H. Remita
CNRS, FR

Keywords:
metal nanostructures, liquid crystals, templates, platinum, palladium

Abstract:
We have developed a flexible approach for the preparation of nanostructured materials using swollen liquid cristals (SLCs) that exhibit hexagonal, cubic or lamellar symmetry as soft templates.
Hexagonal SLCs consist in a regular packing of infinite nonpolar cylinders in a continuous aqueous network (the diameter of the cylinders ranging from 3 to 30 nm).
The versatility of these structures as well as the extended domains of stability and the large range of accessible characteristic sizes make hexagonal SLCs perfect candidates for their use as matrixes for the synthesis and the confinement of nanomaterials.
Various compounds including metals, polymers and oxides could be synthesized, either in the aqueous phase or in the organic one. These mesophases can be doped for example with metal ions which undergo chemical or radiolytic reduction. The final shape of the obtained nanostructures is deeply influenced by the morphology of the liquid crystal itself and it is possible to obtain nano-materials of various morphologies.
SLCs can also be used as soft templates to organize self-assembly of nanoparticles into controlled shapes of larger characteristic sizes.
 
We will present the synthesis and characterization of platinum and palladium based nanofibers, nanowires, nanotubes or lamelae obtained in these mesophases.

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