Lyotropic 'hairy' TiO2 nanorods

Fei Cheng, Emanuele Verrelli, Fahad A. Alharthi, Stephen M. Kelly, Mary O'Neill, Neil T. Kemp, Stuart P. Kitney, Khue T. Lai, Georg H. Mehl, Thomas D. Anthopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We report the synthesis of the first stable, solution-processable and photocrosslinkable hybrid organic/inorganic titanium dioxide nanorods as 'hairy rods' coated with phosphonate ligands with photoreactive coumarin groups located in a terminal position. The relationships between the chemical structure of the diethyl-ω-[(7-oxycoumaryl)-n-alkyl]phosphonate ligands on the ligand exchange rate (LER) and the solubility of the resultant ligand-stabilized titanium dioxide nanorods in organic solvents are elucidated. These TiO2 nanorods, with an organic ligand coating, are short enough (aspect ratio = 5-8) to be dissolved in chlorobenzene at high concentrations, but long enough to form lyotropic nematic liquid crystals. These colloidal solutions are used to deposit a thin, uniform layer of hybrid organic/inorganic TiO2 nanorods with their long axes in the plane of a flat, smooth substrate through a self-organization process. Standard photolithographic patterning creates an insoluble dielectric layer of the desired thickness, smoothness and uniformity and with a dielectric constant of sufficient magnitude, k = 8, suitable for the fabrication of multilayer, plastic electronic devices using solution-based fabrication techniques, such as ink-jet printing, used in roll-to-roll manufacturing.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-264
Number of pages11
JournalNanoscale Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


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