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Lyotropic liquid crystal directed synthesis of anisotropic copper microparticles and their application in catalysis

Meyyathal, P.R., Santhiya, N., Umadevi, S., Michelraj, S., Ganesh, V.
Colloids and surfaces 2019 v.575 pp. 237-244
ambient temperature, aminophenols, anisotropy, blood platelets, catalytic activity, copper, hydrazine, hydrogen peroxide, liquid crystals, microparticles, nonionic surfactants, p-nitrophenol, sodium borohydride, stabilizers
A simple, room-temperature approach for the synthesis of stable microparticles of copper in a lyotropic liquid crystal (LLC) template is described. The LLC phase having a hexagonal ordering is prepared using a mixture of non-ionic surfactant triton-X 100 and water in the ratio of 40:60 wt%. A controlled growth of copper particles is achieved in this medium by reducing cupric chloride using hydrazine hydrate under basic condition without the aid of any external stabilizing agent. Monodisperse, platelet-like copper microparticles (size ∼0.25 μm) are formed in this synthesis, which are well-dispersed in the lyotropic phase without aggregation. Besides, the copper particles are found to be stable for several months in the liquid crystalline medium. The LLC medium directed the growth of anisotropic microparticles and also acted as a stabilising agent. These micro platelets of copper are found to exhibit significant catalytic and electrocatalytic activity for the sodium borohydride mediated conversion of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol and for the reduction of hydrogen peroxide respectively.