InsidePores proposes an original and low cost approach to elaborate nano-structured inorganic materials (NPs) by a solution process. The novelty relies on the use of dedicated porous supramolecular materials acting as matrixes for template-assisted growth of the NPs. We aim at using the confined space within the supramolecular template to grow metal and metal-oxide materials, which size, shape, and spatial organization will be controlled by the host's porosity.
An essential step of the overall process is the insertion of the molecular precursors of the NPs into the porosity of the matrix. To achieve efficient and fast loading, it is desirable that the incoming guests have weak interactions with the matrix. For this reason, the selected matrixes have the walls of their channels functionalized by chemical groups able to form such weak links with the guests.
InsidePores is an exploratory project dedicated to the optimization of the chemical procedures allowing the preparation of shape and size controlled nano-objects, either as composites (NP@matrixe) or free materials. It focuses primarily on ZnO and targets a material that will exhibit only the excitonic emission in the UV energy range (desirable for UV laser and blue-LED applications). An extension concern metallic NPs of noble metals (Ag, Au...) for the elaboration of plasmonic nanocomposite metamaterials.