Chen, Hsingming Anna (2012-07). Auto Template Assembly of CaCO3-Chitosan Hybrid Nanoboxes and Nanoframes in Ionic Liquid Medium. Master's Thesis.
Recently, there has been increased effort in researching methods for producing hollow nanostructures because of their potential impact in the fields of catalysis, separation processes, drug delivery, and energy storage and conversion devices. The purpose of this thesis is to describe a method for forming hollow inorganic-organic hybrid nanoboxes and nanoframes. This approach relies upon ionic liquid (1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium chloride) mediated auto-templating assembly of CaCO3 and chitosan to form nanoframes (two open faces) and nanoboxes (one open face). The average dimension of the nanostructures formed was 339 +- 95 x 299 +- 89 nm. Detailed structure of nanoboxes and nanoframes were obtained by 3-D electron tomography and X-ray diffraction. Chemical bonding was determined by FTIR, and the ratio of organics to inorganics in the nanostructures was determined by thermal gravimetric analysis. The chitosan to CaCO3 weigh ratio, mixing strength, temperature, and dialysis time were varied to further elucidate the method of formation. It was found that increasing the mixing power caused the equilibrium nanostructure dimension to decrease. On the other hand, varying the experimental temperature in the range of 80 to 160?C did not affect the nanostructure dimension. The dialysis study showed that during dialysis the nanostructure core was increasingly removed. Nanoframes were observed after 72 hours of dialysis. With further dialysis, there was continued erosion of nanoframes. Results indicate that the concentration gradient and the solubility difference between the mixture components were responsible for this transformation.