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Wednesday, 24 April, 2013

Ultrathin 2D Coordination Polymer Nanosheets by Surfactant-Mediated Synthesis

S. Junggeburth, L. Diehl, S. Werner, V. Duppel, W. Sigle, and B. Lotsch -
J. Am. Chem. Soc., Vol. 135 (16), pp. 6157-6164 (2013)

Low-dimensional nanostructures offer a host of intriguing properties which are distinct from those of the bulk material, owing to size-confinement effects and amplified surface areas. Here, we report on the scalable, bottom-up synthesis of ultrathin coordination polymer nanosheets via surfactant-mediated synthesis and subsequent exfoliation. Layers of a two-dimensional (2D) zinc coordination polymer are self-assembled in the interlamellar space of a reverse microemulsion mesophase into stacks of nanosheets interleaved with cethyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) at regular intervals, thus giving rise to a lamellar hybrid mesostructure with a lattice period of 8 nm and an underlying highly crystalline substructure. The basic structural motif is composed of 2D acetato–benzimidazolato–zinc layers of tetrahedrally coordinated zinc joined together by anionic acetate and benzimidazolate ligands. The hierarchical structure was studied by PXRD, TEM, EDX, EELS, AFM, and solid-state NMR spectroscopy, revealing a high level of order on both the atomic and mesoscale, suggesting fairly strong interactions along the organic–inorganic hybrid interface. Exfoliation of the hybrid material in organic solvents such as THF and chloroform yields sheet- and belt-like nanostructures with lateral sizes between 10’s and 100’s of nanometers and a height of about 10 nm measured by AFM, which precisely maps the basal spacing of the lamellar mesostructure; further exfoliation results in nanobelts with minimum sizes around 4 nm. Finally, the sheetlike nanostructures behave as morphological chameleons, transforming into highly regular multiwalled coordination polymer nanotubes upon treatment with organic solvents.

 

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