Synthesis and surface modification of nanorods for investigation into organic-inorganic hybrid materials

Bourne, Richard William

September 2012

Thesis or dissertation

© 2012 Richard William Bourne. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The research presented in this thesis is focused towards the synthesis of a new kind of giant hybrid liquid crystal consisting of organic semiconductor molecules surrounding an inorganic semiconductor with a nanorod shape with the potential for use in photovoltaic solar cells. It is intended that such materials will combine the good processing properties of liquid crystals, such as low cost, alignment and photolithographic patterning, with the efficient light emission and electrical conductivity of inorganic semiconductors.

Several syntheses of gold and cadmium sulphide nanorods were performed and optimised in order to increase the yield, aspect ratio and monodispersity of nanorods formed. Localised alignment according to Onsager theory was observed for nanorods produced with sufficient aspect ratio and concentration.

Investigations into the formation of self-assembled monolayers were carried out using gold nanorods and alkanethiols. Organic synthesis of thiol-terminated ligand groups for attachment to both gold and cadmium sulphide nanorods was performed, and such materials were used for investigations into surface modification of the synthesised nanorods. However, no liquid crystallinity was observed for the organic-functionalised nanorods produced during these investigations.

Metal (II) phthalocyanines were used to investigate the formation of chromonic liquid crystalline phases and demonstrated the possibility for an alternative route in producing hybrid inorganic-organic nanorod-like systems.

Department of Chemistry, The University of Hull
Kelly, S. M. (Stephen Malcolm); Wadhawan, Jay
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