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Organic nanocrystals grown in sol–gel matrices: new hybrid organic–inorganic materials for optics

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We have developed a simple and generic preparation of stable organic nanocrystals grown in gel-glass matrices. The synthesis of these hybrid organic–inorganic materials is based on the confined nucleation and growth of organic phases in the pores of dense gels. For bulk nanocomposite samples, narrow size distributions of particles (10–20 nm in diameter) are obtained. We have extended this method to the preparation of organic nanocrystals embedded in sol–gel thin films prepared by spin-coating. For all these nanocomposite materials, we have significantly increased the dye stability and obtained promising optical properties: luminescence, non-linear optical properties or photochromism. Moreover, we have also demonstrated basic working principles of a new type of fluorescent nanosensor through the preparation of organic luminescent nanocrystals grown in silicate films.

Affiliations: 1: Institut Néel, CNRS, UPR 2940, associé à l'Université J. Fourier, BP 166, 38042 Grenoble cédex 9, France


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