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Department of Chemistry and Center for NanoScience (CeNS), University of Munich (LMU), Butenandtstrasse 5-11, 81377 Munich, Germany
; Fax: +49 89 218077622
; Tel: +49 89 218077623
Division of Materials Chemistry, Ruđer Bošković Institute, P.O. Box 180, HR-10002 Zagreb, Croatia
J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Dolejskova 3, 18223 Prague 8, Czech Republic
Siemens AG, Corporate Technology, CT T DE HW3, Guenther-Scharowsky-Str. 1, 91050 Erlangen, Germany
Chem. Sci., 2012,3, 2367-2374
10 Jan 2012,
22 Mar 2012
First published online
22 Mar 2012
We describe the elaboration of nanostructured transparent conducting indium tin oxide (ITO) materials that is based on controlled self-assembly of ultra-small indium tin hydroxide nanoparticles. We developed a strategy for preparing nanosized, nearly spherical and highly dispersible nanoparticles of indium tin hydroxide (“nano-hydroxides”), which can be assembled into regular mesoporous architectures directed by a commercially available Pluronic polymer. The assembled structures are easily transformed into conducting crystalline mesoporous ITO films by a mild heat treatment at 300 °C. The resulting ITO layers feature a regular mesoporosity with a mesostructure periodicity of about 13 ± 2 nm, high surface area of 190 m2 cm−3, porosity of 44% and electrical conductivity up to 9.5 S cm−1. The ITO films can accommodate large amounts of redox-active molecules and serve as efficient conducting electrodes with a very high surface area. The perfect dispersibility of nano-hydroxides without any stabilizing agents, their preferential interaction with the hydrophilic part of amphiphilic molecules leading to their self-assembly, and a facile transformation of the assembled nano-hydroxides into crystalline ITO with similar morphology make the nano-hydroxides very attractive building blocks for the elaboration of nanostructured ITO materials. We believe that the nano-hydroxides can become universal building blocks for the fabrication of crystalline ITO materials with arbitrary nano-morphologies.
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