Bile Acid Based Supramolecular Gels, Semiconductor Nanocrystals And Soft Hybrid Materials
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Chapter 1. General Introduction This chapter gives an introduction to supramolecular organo/hydrogels and the related bile acid chemistry touching upon the gelation properties of the bile acid derivatives. Diverse applications of the supramolecular gels are illustrated with several examples. In the concluding section of this chapter, a brief introduction on the semiconductor nanocrystals is provided. Finally, the content of the thesis is outlined. Chapter 2. Bile Acid Derived Novel Organo/hydrogelators Part 1. Bile Acid Derived Organo/hydrogelators With a Basic Side Chain Cationic analogues of bile acids which showed remarkable gelation properties in water were reported from our laboratory. This led us to investigate the aggregation behaviour of some of the lithocholic and deoxycholic acid derivatives having a basic side-chain. Figure 1. Bile acid based organo/hydrogelators containing a basic side-chain. In this part, an organogelator 1 and a hydrogelator 2 derived from parent bile acids have been described with respect to their gelation properties, morphology, thermal and mechanical stability of the gels. The organo/hydrogels were shown to be responsive to acid-base stimuli as the organogel formed only in the protonated state and the hydrogel formed in the neutral form of the tertiary amines. The xerogel fibres obtained from the organogel were found to be solid-like and stable up to 200 oC as confirmed by variable temperature polarizing optical microscopy. The non-fluorescent organogel was doped with a fluorescent dye (coumarin 153) to design a novel dye-organogel composite material which was investigated with laser scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy showing the dye molecules were uniformly deposited on the organogel fibres. Part 2. Serendipitous Organogelation by Dimeric Bile Acid Esters This section highlights our work on the organogelators based on a number of dimeric esters consisting of different bile acid units. Figure 2. The three different dimeric bile acid esters as organogelators. In this part, three bile acid derived dimeric esters (1, 2 and 3) were shown to possess organogelation properties in aromatic and halogenated aromatic solvents. We studied the morphological features and rheological properties of these organogels. Next, the organogel matrix was exploited to generate and stabilize gold nanoparticles and prepare AuNP/gel hybrid material. Chapter 3. Cholate Hydrogels and Soft Gel-nanoparticle Hybrid Materials Sodium cholate does not form gel in water under any condition as compared to other sodium salts of other bile acids such as sodium deoxycholate and lithocholate which show pH-dependent gelation behaviour. Figure 3. Metal cholate hydrogels derived from sodium cholate and a variety of metal ions. In this chapter, super hydrogelation of sodium cholate induced by a variety of metal ions (Ca2+, Cu2+, Co2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, Hg2+ and Ag+) is highlighted with respect to their morphology and mechanical strength/stability. The calcium cholate supramolecular system showed the presence of helically twisted nanofibres which were utilised in the synthesis of soft hybrid materials containing metal (Au and Ag) and metal sulphide (CdS, ZnS, HgS, etc.) nanoparticles. Chapter 4. Cadmium Deoxycholate and Highly Luminescent CdSe Nanocrystals Bile acid derivatives have very high chemical and thermal stability owing to the presence of a rigid steroidal nucleus. We explored the possibility of utilizing the bile salt derived from Cd as a metal complexes as precursor to high quality nanocrystals (NCs) which can only be accessed at high temperatures (>200 oC). Figure 4. Synthesis of high quality CdSe NCs from cadmium deoxycholate. In this chapter, the synthesis of high quality CdSe nanocrystals is discussed using a novel bile acid based precursor: cadmium salt of 7-deoxycholic acid, which has high thermal stability and can be conveniently used at very high temperatures (>300 oC) required for the synthesis of high quality nanocrystals. Syntheses were done both by ‘injection’ and ‘non-injection’ modes. The as-prepared nanocrystals have high photoluminescence quantum yield, multiple excitons, narrow size-distributions and zinc blende/wurtzite crystalline cores. Appendix. Steroidal Thiols in Design of Novel Quantum dot (QD)/Gel Hybrid Materials Bile acid derived steroidal thiols were reported to be efficient capping agents for silver and gold nanoparticles from our laboratory. So, we wanted to check whether they could stabilize the semiconductor nanocrystals as well. Figure 5. Steroidal thiols as stabilizers of semiconductor quantum dots. In this short report, we describe the efficient capping by bile acid derived thiols of group II-VI semiconductor nanocrystals/quantum dots (QDs) (CdS, CdSe). After synthesizing the thiol capped QDs, we tried to disperse the capped nanoparticles into the gel fibres. The hybrid gels showed the presence of nanoparticles inside the fibres as observed by transmission electron microscopy, although the photoluminescence of the QDs was very low in the gel matrix, which might be due to the inefficient surface passivation of the nanoparticles in the gel.
- Organic Chemistry (OC) 
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