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Chiral Nematic Stained Glass: Controlling the Optical Properties of Nanocrystalline Cellulose-Templated Materials

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-20, 03:46 authored by Joel A. Kelly, Kevin E. Shopsowitz, Jun Myun Ahn, Wadood Y. Hamad, Mark J. MacLachlan
Chiral nematic mesoporous materials decorated with metal nanoparticles have been prepared using the templated self-assembly of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC). By adding small quantities of ionic compounds to aqueous dispersions of NCC and tetramethoxysilane (TMOS), the helical pitch of the chiral nematic structure could be manipulated in a manner complementary to the ratio of NCC/TMOS previously demonstrated by our group. We have studied the transformation of these ion-loaded composites into high surface area mesoporous silica and carbon films decorated with metal nanoparticles through calcination and carbonization, respectively. This general and straightforward approach to prepare chiral nematic metal nanoparticle assemblies may be useful in a variety of applications, particularly for their chiral optical properties.