New Nanocomposites - Controlled Capture of Nanoparticles in Scrolled Nanosheets

S. Adireddy, Y. Yao, J.M. Vargas, L. Spinu and J.B. Wiley
University of Neworleans, US

Keywords: scrolls, nanosheets, characterization, non-aqueos synthesis, nanoparticles, nanocomposites, photocatalysts

Summary:

The ability to encapsulate linear nanoparticle chains in scrolled nanosheets is an important advance in the formation of nanocomposites. Recent work in our group resulted in the in situ formation of peapod-like structures based on chains of cobalt nanoparticles. Building on this initial success, we have developed a more versatile approach that allows for the capture of a series of preformed nanoparticles. During solvothermal treatment, exfoliated hexaniobate nanosheets scroll around highly ordered chains of nanoparticles to produce the target peapod structures in high yield. This chemistry is especially flexible such that nanocomposites can be formed with a variety of nanoparticles including metals, quantum dots and metal oxides. Further, this approach demonstrates selectively, encapsulating nanoparticles according to their size. Beyond the 1D peapod structures, noble metal functionalized sheets (2D) with tunable magnetic, electronic, optical, and catalytic properties can also be fabricated. The importance of this advance is the promise it holds for the design and assembly of active nanocomposites. One can create important combinations of nanomaterials for potential applications in a variety of areas including catalysis, solar conversion, thermoelectrics, and multiferroics.