Sol-gel chemistry

 

During sol-gel processes nano-structured materials are produced systematically or structured by controlled reactions from the most varied of basic materials (precursors). Typical application materials in sol-gel processes are metal alcoholates, silanes or salts, which in solutions can react in a targeted manner in solutions to so-called germs. This can, for example, take place by varying the ph value or by adding additional solvents. These germs are particles that consist of just a few molecules. By means of the targeted change in the process parameters, the germs can further develop into different functionalized particles or structures. It is therefore possible to manufacture from identical basic materials (precursors) different functional structures that differentiate in their physical properties. By introducing molecular structures, e.g. With specially adapted charge carrier topology (electronic stabilization), with suitable chemical fuctionalization (chemical stabilization) or from steric molecular spacers (mechanical stabilization), the particles that are produced can be stabilized in the solvent and further growth can be controlled. Moreover, in further process steps supplementary materials (among others, also modified nano particles) can also be integrated with the already nano-structured material (sol) in order to enable additional functions and supplementary applications at a later date.

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