Redox responsive nanotubes from organometallic polymers by template assisted layer by layer fabrication†
Redox responsive nanotubes were fabricated by the template assisted layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly method and employed as platforms for molecular payload release. Positively and negatively charged organometallic poly(ferrocenylsilane)s (PFS) were used to construct the nanotubes, in combination with other polyions. During fabrication, multilayers of these polyions were deposited onto the inner pores of template porous membranes, followed by subsequent removal of the template. Anodized porous alumina and track-etched polycarbonate membranes were used as templates. The morphology, electrochemistry, composition and other properties of the obtained tubular structure were characterized by fluorescence microscopy, scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. Composite nanotubes, consisting of poly(acrylic acid) anions with PFS+ and nanoparticles including fluorophore labelled dextran and decorated quantum dots, with PFS polyelectrolytes were also fabricated, broadening the scope of the structures. Cyclic voltammograms of PFS containing nanotubes showed similar redox responsive behaviour to thin LbL assembled films. Redox triggered release of labelled macromolecules from these tubular structures demonstrated application potential in controlled molecular delivery.