Gyroid Nickel Nanostructures from Diblock Copolymer Supramolecules

Vukovic, I., Punzhin, S., Voet, V. S. D., Vukovic, Z., de Hosson, J. T. M., ten Brinke, G. & Loos, K., Apr-2014, In : Journal of Visualized Experiments. 86, 9 p., e50673.

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  • Gyroid Nickel Nanostructures from Diblock Copolymer Supramolecules

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Nanoporous metal foams possess a unique combination of properties - they are catalytically active, thermally and electrically conductive, and furthermore, have high porosity, high surface-to-volume and strength-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, common approaches for preparation of metallic nanostructures render materials with highly disordered architecture, which might have an adverse effect on their mechanical properties. Block copolymers have the ability to self-assemble into ordered nanostructures and can be applied as templates for the preparation of well-ordered metal nanofoams. Here we describe the application of a block copolymer-based supramolecular complex -polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine)(pentadecylphenol) PS-b-P4VP(PDP) - as a precursor for well-ordered nickel nanofoam. The supramolecular complexes exhibit a phase behavior similar to conventional block copolymers and can self-assemble into the bicontinuous gyroid morphology with two PS networks placed in a P4VP(PDP) matrix. PDP can be dissolved in ethanol leading to the formation of a porous structure that can be backfilled with metal. Using electroless plating technique, nickel can be inserted into the template's channels. Finally, the remaining polymer can be removed via pyrolysis from the polymer/inorganic nanohybrid resulting in nanoporous nickel foam with inverse gyroid morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50673
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2014


  • Chemistry, Issue 86, polymers, polymer matrix composites, foam materials, block copolymers, self-assembly, supramolecules, gyroid, nanoporous, electroless plating, metal nanofoams, BLOCK-COPOLYMERS, METAL FOAMS, POLYSTYRENE, TEMPLATES, MORPHOLOGY, GOLD, NANOCOMPOSITES, NANOCHANNELS, LITHOGRAPHY, PRECURSORS

ID: 16227164