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Issue 6, 2011
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Nanocomposites combining conducting and superparamagnetic components prepared via an organogel

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Abstract

A nanocomposite material combining an organic molecular gelator and oleate-coated iron oxide nanoparticles in proportions which range from one to fifty weight percent of the inorganic material has been prepared via the gel state. The proportion of nanoparticles and organic gelator in this mixed colloidal system gives very different characteristics to the final hybrid xerogel. Characterisation of the xerogels by transmission electron microscopy shows that at low loadings of the inorganic material a uniform distribution is observed, while above ten weight percent of nanoparticles a clear phase separation of the components (organic and inorganic) is revealed. Doping of the organic component of the xerogels by chemical oxidation results in the formation of conducting composites, whose electrical characteristics—probed by current sensing atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy—vary importantly with the amount of iron oxide colloid. The best conductors are found at low loadings of inorganic particles, at which an interesting alignment of the organic fibres is observed. The work shows that conducting materials incorporating magnetic particles can be prepared simply through the organogel route, and raises possibilities for the discovery of new properties that could come from the combination of these or related systems.

Graphical abstract: Nanocomposites combining conducting and superparamagnetic components prepared via an organogel

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Oct 2010, accepted on 15 Dec 2010 and first published on 27 Jan 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01088J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 2755-2761
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    Nanocomposites combining conducting and superparamagnetic components prepared via an organogel

    E. Taboada, L. N. Feldborg, A. Pérez del Pino, A. Roig, D. B. Amabilino and J. Puigmartí-Luis, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 2755
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01088J

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