ACS nano

Role of Atomic Layer Functionalization in Building Scalable Bottom-Up Assembly of Ultra-Low Density Multifunctional Three-Dimensional Nanostructures.

PMID 27977930


Building three-dimensional (3D) structures from their constituent zero-, one-, and two-dimensional nanoscale building blocks in a bottom-up assembly is considered the holey grail of nanotechnology. However, fabricating such 3D nanostructures at ambient conditions still remains a challenge. Here, we demonstrate an easily scalable facile method to fabricate 3D nanostructures made up of entirely zero-dimensional silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles. By combining functional groups and vacuum filtration, we fabricate lightweight and highly structural stable 3D SiO2 materials. Further synergistic effect of material is shown by addition of a 2D material, graphene oxide (GO) as reinforcement which results in 15-fold increase in stiffness. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to understand the interaction between silane functional groups (3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane) and SiO2 nanoparticles thus confirming the reinforcement capability of GO. In addition, the material is stable under high temperature and offers a cost-effective alternative to both fire-retardant and oil absorption materials.