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Multiligand Metal–Phenolic Assembly from Green Tea Infusions

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journal contribution
posted on 19.07.2017 by Md. Arifur Rahim, Mattias Björnmalm, Nadja Bertleff-Zieschang, Yi Ju, Srinivas Mettu, Michael G. Leeming, Frank Caruso
The synthesis of hybrid functional materials using the coordination-driven assembly of metal–phenolic networks (MPNs) is of interest in diverse areas of materials science. To date, MPN assembly has been explored as monoligand systems (i.e., containing a single type of phenolic ligand) where the phenolic components are primarily obtained from natural sources via extraction, isolation, and purification processes. Herein, we demonstrate the fabrication of MPNs from a readily available, crude phenolic sourcegreen tea (GT) infusions. We employ our recently introduced rust-mediated continuous assembly strategy to prepare these GT MPN systems. The resulting hollow MPN capsules contain multiple phenolic ligands and have a shell thickness that can be controlled through the reaction time. These multiligand MPN systems have different properties compared to the analogous MPN systems reported previously. For example, the Young’s modulus (as determined using colloidal-probe atomic force microscopy) of the GT MPN system presented herein is less than half that of MPN systems prepared using tannic acid and iron salt solutions, and the disassembly kinetics are faster (∼50%) than other, comparable MPN systems under identical disassembly conditions. Additionally, the use of rust-mediated assembly enables the formation of stable capsules under conditions where the conventional approach (i.e., using iron salt solutions) results in colloidally unstable dispersions. These differences highlight how the choice of phenolic ligand and its source, as well as the assembly protocol (e.g., using solution-based or solid-state iron sources), can be used to tune the properties of MPNs. The strategy presented herein expands the toolbox of MPN assembly while also providing new insights into the nature and robustness of metal–phenolic interfacial assembly when using solution-based or solid-state metal sources.