Structure and Kinetics of Self-Assembled Cellulose-Gold Nanoparticle Materials
In a biomimetic approach,we aim to create hierarchical multi-functionalone-, two- and three-dimensional structures with controlled long-range order through self-assembly of multifunctional rodlike nanoparticles. To achieve this, we will modify the surface of ribbon-like cellulose nanocrystals at their three distinct surface functionalities: primary and secondary hydroxyl groups on the lateral surfaces and aldehydes at the extremities. These surface functionalities will be used to exert control over the self-assembly, as well as to introduce other functionalities such as fluorescence, (electro)chromism, and redox and electron-hopping capability. Ordered structures will be formed by self-assembly on solid surfaces, at liquid-liquid and liquid-gas interfaces, in bulk, and underflow, with and without addition of metal nanoparticles or di- or multifunctional linkers. Flexibility and spacing of the grafts will provide additional control over the self-assembly behaviour and performance of theadditional functionalities. This work builds on recent successes in thegroup of Prof. Thielemans in preparing cellulose nanocrystals functionalised to alter membrane and templating behaviour, to add new functionalities such as fluorescence, to enable charge hopping along the nanocrystal surface, and to prepare bioanalytical sensors.