Silicone Nanofilaments and the DAGS Chemistry: Tailormade Nanostructures, Surfaces, and Nanomaterials

S. Seeger, A. De Crema, G. Artus, S. Olveira
University of Zurich,

Keywords: silicone, nanofilaments, DAGS, superhydrophobic, superoleophobic


The synthesis of nanostructures often requires special conditions limiting potential applications due to cost reasons; also the increasing ecological requirements set pressure on future processes. The Droplet Assisted Growth and Shaping (DAGS) process allows for synthesis of polymeric nanostructures applying room temperature and solvent free synthesis. By adjusting reaction pramters like humidity tailor made shapes can be obtained. The DAGS process can be applied to different reaction schemes obtaining for example polysiloxane (silicone), Germanium oxide, or Aluminaoxide nanoparticles. The obtained structures have tremendous potential for applications: Novel nanostructures synthesized by polycondensation reactions of various silane precursors are presented. Our group was the first synthesizing silicone nanofilaments which are very useful for a simple conversion of surfaces, e.g. from hydrophilic into superhydrophobic surfaces. Subsequent reaction schemes lead to all kind of wetting and antiwetting properties including superoleophobic surfaces. Various application fields will be addressed, e.g. oil/water separation with tailormade porous structures. We also show, that appropriate adjustment of the reaction conditions will lead to many other nanostructures, e.g. nano-vessels, discs, nanotubes etc., showing different properties. Further applications, in particular the upgrading of basic natural products into high performance products for construction materials, fabric finishing, and products for pollution removal and degradation are presented.