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Hybrid system : from nanoparticles to gels

Abstract : This work is focused on the better understanding of the formation of zinc oxide anisotropic nanoparticle through an organometallic synthesis. To start on this project, the development of a statistical tool to analyze nanoparticle sizes and shapes was mandatory. A simple 2D plot with a multivariate statistical analysis is proposed in order to extract, in particular, the correlation between length and width in a collection or a mixture of anisotropic particles. Compared to the usual statistics on the length associated to a second and independent statistical analysis of the width, this simple plot easily points out the various types of nanoparticles and their (an)isotropy. For each class of nano-objects, the relationship between width and length (i.e. the strong or weak correlations between these two parameters) may suggest information concerning the nucleation-growth processes. It allows one to follow the effect on the shape and size distribution of physical or chemical processes such as simple ripening. Various electronic microscopy pictures from the literature or from our own syntheses are used as examples to demonstrate the efficiency and simplicity of such an analysis. Furthermore, following the organometallic approach, well defined crystalline zinc oxide nanorods are obtained through the hydrolysis reaction of dicyclohexyl zinc precursor without solvent in presence of primary fatty amine only. Their mechanism of formation is studied through a multivariate analysis of TEM results and an oriented attachment process is demonstrated. Taking advantage of this mechanism, the size of the ZnO nanorods can be easily adjusted tuned by controlling adjusting the hydrolysis rate, the aging time before hydrolysis, the nature of ligand, and/or the amount of water. During such experiments, a gelification of the chemical media are for the first time observed. This is the origin of the last part of our work, which put forward an original approach for outstanding processable and reshapable hybrid materials. Indeed, we unequivocally demonstrate through various complementary experiments (rheology, NMR, TEM, theoretical calculation, WAXS...) the formation of oligomeric structures in a mixture of fatty amine with organometallic compounds. This oligomerization reaction between the metallic centers induces the formation of a gel which can be processed into fibers, stamped patterns or molded pieces. Metal oxide hybrid materials are obtained merely by hydrolysis of the organometallic gel, which are furthermore liquid crystal. This unprecedented route towards easily processable hydrid and metal oxide materials is demonstrated for zinc oxide and extended to other metal oxides such as tin oxide and iron oxide, proving the universality of the method and paving the way, for example, to new sensitive gas sensors layers.
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Zhihua Zhao. Hybrid system : from nanoparticles to gels. Coordination chemistry. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU30118⟩. ⟨tel-01887630⟩

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