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From 1D polymers to 2D polymers

(Nanowerk News) Researchers in China report a facile, highly efficient, and versatile strategy for preparation of free-standing single-monomer-thick two-dimensional (2D) polymers in water without any aid.
The monolayer 2D polymer was conveniently obtained by self-assembly and photopolymerization of an amphiphilic rigid 1D polymer.
Writing in ACS Nano ("From 1D Polymers to 2D Polymers: Preparation of Free-Standing Single-Monomer-Thick Two-Dimensional Conjugated Polymers in Water"), the team describes the three steps that make up their fabrication strategy:
  • 1) an amphiphilic rigid conjugated 1D polymer (A-1DP) was designed and synthesized;
  • 2) single-layer 2D supramolecular polymers (2DSP) were formed by self-assembly of the A-1DP in water;
  • 3) single-layer 2D covalent polymers (2D-CP) were prepared by photopolymerization of the diacetylene groups within the single-layer 2D-SP.
  • Schematic illustration of the formation pathway of single-monomer-thick two-dimensional polymers
    Schematic illustration of the formation pathway of single-monomer-thick two-dimensional polymers. (© ACS) (click on image to enlarge)
    By characterizing the structure and the morphology of these sheets by electron microscope techniques and spectroscopic analyses, the team found that, compared with single-layer 2D supramolecular polymers, the single-layer 2D covalent polymers exhibited better mechanical stability as well as higher conductivity.
    "Therefore, our work provides a powerful strategy for preparation of not only free-standing 2D supramolecular polymers but also 2D covalent polymers, especially conjugated 2D polymers with several nanometer thickness as conductive or semiconductive materials, which are very useful in many fields," the authors conclude.
    By Michael is author of two books by the Royal Society of Chemistry: Nano-Society: Pushing the Boundaries of Technology and Nanotechnology: The Future is Tiny.
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