Feb 16, 2010

Metal-containing polymers: building blocks for functional (nano)materials

Macromolecular Rapid Communications
Xiaosong Wang, Ronan McHale


The incorporation of metallic units into polymer chains has emerged as a promising route towards functional metal-containing (nano)materials. The resulting polymers possess rich functions derived from their metallic elements, such as redox, optical, catalytic and magnetic properties. In addition, the directional and dynamic nature of metal coordination interactions provides further variables for the exploration of novel materials with designed nanostructures. These types of polymers can be synthesized through direct metal-ligand coordination or chain polymerization of metal containing monomers. Depending on the polymerization techniques and starting components, the resulting polymers, akin to their organic counterparts, can be produced in the form of insoluble networks, processible chain structures, gels or colloids. Research into this rising multidisciplinary subject has benefited from recent progress in several related areas such as supramolecular chemistry, colloidal chemistry etc., with the combination of the relative merits of each ensuring further developments in each individual discipline. For example, as a result of studies into organometallic block copolymers self-assembly behavior, living supramolecular polymerization...Continue Reading

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