Decontamination of nanoparticles from aqueous samples using supramolecular gels†
The growing use of nanomaterials and their associated risks necessitate the emergence of efficient decontamination systems. The main objective of this study is to develop a new prototype based on artificial supramolecular hydrogel capable of removing nanoparticle (NP) waste and nanomaterial by-products from aqueous suspensions. We demonstrate the high trapping efficacy of the low-molecular-weight gelators (LMWG) for very small particles (quantum dots (QDs), gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2-NPs), below 50 nm in diameter) from aqueous suspensions. The performance levels of removing nanoparticles from contaminated effluents could lead to a competitive alternative to filtration and dialysis devices.