CHAPTER 8: Molecular Gels as Templates for Nanostructured Materials
Published:05 Nov 2013
Over the past few decades generation of inorganic nanostructured materials has received increasing attention due to their potentials in diversified domains including bioseparation, imaging applications as well as in drug delivery. Inorganic materials, although diverse in composition, generally lack the structural variety characteristic of supramolecular and other organic structures. In this regard, various supramolecular self-assemblies formed by the small organic molecules have been employed as templates for the generation of novel inorganic nanostructures that are otherwise unattainable. This chapter depicts the transcription of low molecular weight gels into discrete, inorganic structures (silica, TiO2, CdS and many more). Moreover, the self-assembled fibrillar networks of supramolecular gels have also been used as a template for the development of inorganic–organic hybrid materials from the combination of gels with nanoparticles of different origins. The supramolecular gel matrix has been used to synthesize and immobilize nanoparticles by modulating the gel structure with appropriated functionality. The present chapter also highlights the significant research progress of gel-nanocomposites and emphasizes the recent advances in their synthesis, improved properties/features and applications in different fields.