Use of Self-Assembled Surfactants for Nanomaterials Synthesis
Book chapter, 2009
Synthesis of inorganic materials with nanosized dimensions can take advantage of the ability of surfactants to self-assemble into well-defined structures. These structures are used as a kind of template for the synthesis. This approach of nanomaterials preparation has triggered substantial interest both in the surface chemistry and the materials chemistry community. The accuracy and reproducibility of the self-assembly process has been seen as means of achieving control of materials architecture on the nanometer scale. This is a biomimetic approach; a wide variety of biological structural materials are made by a templating process with the use of surface active compounds—primarily surface active polymers but also low molecular weight polar lipids. The number of papers dealing with surfactant-templated synthesis of inorganic materials has increased dramatically in recent years and several review papers deal with various aspects of the technique (1-12). Existing and potential applications for the synthesized materials range from biomaterials (e.g., artificial bone), to technical products such as catalysts, magnetic particles, and pigments.