Synthesis and morphogenesis of polypyrrole (PPy) with hierarchical structures from nanoscopic to macroscopic scales have been achieved by using hierarchically organized architectures of biominerals. We adopted biominerals, such as a sea urchin spine and nacreous layer, having hierarchical architectures based on mesocrystals as model materials used for synthesis of an organic polymer. A sea urchin spine led to the formation of PPy macroscopic sponge structures consisting of nanosheets less than 100 nm in thickness with the mosaic interior of the nanoparticles. The morphologies of the resultant PPy hierarchical architectures can be tuned by the structural modification of the original biomineral with chemical and thermal treatments. In another case, a nacreous layer provided PPy porous nanosheets consisting of the nanoparticles. Conductive pathways were formed in these PPy hierarchical architectures. The nanoscale interspaces in the mesocrystal structures of biominerals are used for introduction and polymerization of the monomers, leading to the formation of hierarchically organized polymer architectures. These results show that functional organic materials with complex and nanoscale morphologies can be synthesized by using hierarchically organized architectures as observed in biominerals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry