Open Access Nano Express

‘Laser chemistry’ synthesis, physicochemical properties, and chemical processing of nanostructured carbon foams

Andrés Seral-Ascaso1, Rosa Garriga2, María Luisa Sanjuán3, Joselito M Razal4, Ruth Lahoz3, Mariano Laguna5, Germán F de la Fuente3 and Edgar Muñoz1*

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Carboquímica ICB-CSIC, Miguel Luesma Castán 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain

2 Departamento de Química Física, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/Pedro Cerbuna s/n, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

3 Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragón, Universidad de Zaragoza-CSIC, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

4 ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science and Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, AIIM Facility, Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522 Australia

5 Instituto de Síntesis Química y Catálisis Homogénea, Universidad de Zaragoza-CSIC, Plaza San Francisco s/n, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:233  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-233

Published: 16 May 2013

Abstract

Laser ablation of selected coordination complexes can lead to the production of metal-carbon hybrid materials, whose composition and structure can be tailored by suitably choosing the chemical composition of the irradiated targets. This ‘laser chemistry’ approach, initially applied by our group to the synthesis of P-containing nanostructured carbon foams (NCFs) from triphenylphosphine-based Au and Cu compounds, is broadened in this study to the production of other metal-NCFs and P-free NCFs. Thus, our results show that P-free coordination compounds and commercial organic precursors can act as efficient carbon source for the growth of NCFs. Physicochemical characterization reveals that NCFs are low-density mesoporous materials with relatively low specific surface areas and thermally stable in air up to around 600°C. Moreover, NCFs disperse well in a variety of solvents and can be successfully chemically processed to enable their handling and provide NCF-containing biocomposite fibers by a wet-chemical spinning process. These promising results may open new and interesting avenues toward the use of NCFs for technological applications.

Keywords:
Carbon nanostructures; Laser ablation; Metal-carbon hybrids; Laser chemistry; Metal nanoparticles; Fiber spinning