Functional nanostructured films

The goal of this project is the preparation of novel, nanostructured porous silica or titania films with specific functions. The main focus lies on the deliberate positioning of the functional components, e.g. magnetic clusters or catalytically active centres, within the nanostructured matrix by tailor-made inorganic-organic precursors, in addition to an exact control of the final film thickness from several 100 nm down to one micellar monolayer.

The controlled placement of the functional components within the host architecture will be performed during the cooperative self-organization (evaporation-induced self-assembly, EISA) by a simple one-step method. The desired species can be deliberately placed in specific regions via particular chemical interactions during the coating process. Placement in

  1. in the periodically arranged pores: The main volume of the later pores is formed by the hydrophobic parts of the supramolecular template aggregates. Hydrophobic components can therefore be placed in these domains via simple hydrophobic interactions already during film formation or via covalent bonding to the hydrophobic template tail.
  2. the framework: the functional component can also be incorporated as an integral part of the inorganic framework. „Single-source“ precursors, in which simple coordination chemistry allows for the chemical combination of different metal species, are ideal components for a homogeneous condensation of the two metal or metal/silica in the hydrophilic domains of the template phase.
  3. the interface between pore wall and pore: Via coordination of the functional component to the hydrophilic template head group molecules can be deliberately positioned close to the interface.

In the second part of the project, the controlled deposition of micellar monolayers is combined with the placement of the functional components, thus resulting in a functional layer with a thickness of 5-10 nm and a periodic organization in the nanometer regime. This is extremely interesting for the deliberate placement of magnetic nanoobjects.