A metal–organic gel based on Fe(iii) and bi-pyridine ligand for template synthesis of core/shell composite polymer nanowires†
In this study, a novel self-assembled metal–organic gel was synthesized from ferric nitrate and a di-topic ligand, bis(3-pyridyl)terephthalate. The gel consisted of a three dimensional network of uniform nanofibers. The gelation exhibited high selectivity to Fe(III) based on metal–ligand coordination. The molar ratio of Fe3+ to ligand had a large influence on the assembly process and the morphology of the gel. The metallogel displayed multi-stimuli responsiveness and excellent heat resistance, thus was further applied as a thermo-stable template for the polymerization of N,N′-methylene bisacrylamide to produce the core/shell polymer composite nanowires. Subsequently, the polymer nanotubes were obtained after ammonia post-treatment, comfirming the feasibility of the template synthesis strategy. According to the rheological measurements, the gel-like products of the composite nanowires exhibited better mechanical strength compared to the gel template.