We have recently demonstrated a procedure for the synthesis of silica nanometer and micrometer particles under modest conditions. Here we report the synthesis of C-60 fullerene-silica hybrid nanometer sized materials via sol-gel processing at neutral pH and under ambient conditions. The C-60 fullerene, when functionalized was water-soluble and also able to facilitate the formation of silica structures from an aqueous silica precursor. This C-60 fullerene had similar functinality to the cationically charged polymers, which have been reported earlier to act as catalysts/templates for silicification. The resulting organic-inorganic hybrid was studied using SEM, EDS and UV/Vis spectroscopy. These hybrid materials may have applications in areas such as optical devices, semiconductors, chemical sensors, catalysis and in the medical field. The results presented in this study may be useful in developing a process for the synthesis of novel organic-inorganic nanometer sized materials and for the biomimetic synthesis of silica.
- functionalized C-60 fullerene
- bucky balls
- organic-inorganic hybrids