Bridging the gap between soft chemistry and solid state chemistry: molecular strategies toward original nanomaterials
Reactions between molecule-scale species are often the most suitable for the cost effective fabrication of materials with controlled crystal structure, nano-, meso- and micro-structures. Although such chemical pathways are intensively studied since three decades for nanostructured metals, chalcogenides and simple metal oxides, many other compounds families were only scarcely, if ever, reported at the nanoscale. These systems show at the bulk scale mechanical, catalytic, optical and electronic properties without equivalent among common compounds. The design of corresponding nanostructures could therefore lead to important changes or enhancement of existing properties, emergence of new behaviours and novel processing possibilities.
This presentation will highlight some of the outcomes of research efforts conducted since 5 years, aiming at the design of functional nanomaterials with innovative elemental compositions, some of them being considered as “exotic” to chemist. I will discuss several cases showing different properties than bulk phases, including reduced titanium oxides, so-called Magnéli phases for information storage and energy conversion, metal-boron alloys for thermoelectricity, multicationic oxides for fuel cells and boron-carbon-nitrogen covalent frameworks for environmental remediation.