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Sol–Gel-Derived 2D Nanostructures of Aluminum Hydroxide Acetate: Toward the Understanding of Nanostructure Formation

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-13, 00:00 authored by Ruohong Sui, John M. H. Lo, Christopher B. Lavery, Connor E. Deering, Kyle G. Wynnyk, Nancy Chou, Robert A. Marriott
Two-dimensional (2D) metal oxide nanostructures have generated a great deal of attention in material science for their prospective wide-ranging applications; therefore, a scalable and economical method for producing these structures is an asset. In this research, a simple procedure for the preparation of 2D aluminum hydroxide acetate macromolecules ([Al­(OH)­(OAc)2]m) has been developed via a nonaqueous sol–gel route at a mild reaction temperature and ambient pressure. To gain a greater understanding of the mechanism for how the self-assembly of these 2D structures occurs, a combination of in situ Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) measurements and density functional theory (DFT) calculations were utilized. It was found that the bridging OH–1 and coordination modes of the organic ligands guide the assembly of the planar nanostructures. The theoretical calculation results show that the structures of the [Al­(OH)­(OAc)2]8 oligomer can be either a linear or a planar structure, and the latter is more thermodynamically favorable than its linear counterpart. The simple synthesis method described herein could possibly open a new avenue for designing 2D nanostructures via ligand-directed anisotropic condensation reactions.

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