5 years ago

Chitin Liquid-Crystal-Templated Oxide Semiconductor Aerogels

Chitin Liquid-Crystal-Templated Oxide Semiconductor Aerogels
Long Viet Nguyen, Thanh-Dinh Nguyen, Trang The Lieu Chau, Cuong Duc Nguyen, Hoa Thi Le, Dung Quang Tien Le
Chitin nanocrystals have been used as a liquid crystalline template to fabricate layered oxide semiconductor aerogels. Anisotropic chitin liquid crystals are transformed to sponge-like aerogels by hydrothermally cross-linked gelation and lyophilization-induced solidification. The hydrothermal gelation of chitin aqueous suspensions then proceeds with peroxotitanate to form hydrogel composites that recover to form aerogels after freeze-drying. The homogeneous peroxotitanate/chitin composites are calcined to generate freestanding titania aerogels that exhibit the nanostructural integrity of layered chitin template. Our extended investigations show that coassembling chitin nanocrystals with other metal-based precursors also yielded semiconductor aerogels of perovskite BaTiO3 and CuOx nanocrystals. The potential of these materials is great to investigate these chitin sponges for biomedicine and these semiconductor aerogels for photocatalysis, gas sensing, and other applications. Our results present a new aerogel templating method of highly porous, ultralight materials with chitin liquid crystals.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b07680

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b07680

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