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Jean-Paul (Moshe) Lellouche

Jean-Paul (Moshe) Lellouche

Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Title: Innovative Functional Tungsten Disulfide (WS2) Inorganic Nanotubes (f-INTs-WS2) - Novel Non-Toxic Nanoscale Inorganic Polymer-Composite Inorganic “Nanofillers”


Biography: Jean-Paul (Moshe) Lellouche


Statement of the problem: Tungsten disulfide nanotubes (INTs-WS2) and fullerene-like nanoparticles (IFs-WS2) are extremely hydrophobic and chemically inert inorganic nanomaterials, which quite strongly limits their usefulness in numerous mechanical hardness and tribology-relating research developments and subsequent industrial end-applications. Thus, the covalent attachment of any kind of functional organic and/or biology-relating species remains a quite critical developmental step towards highly innovative high-performance nanomaterials and multiphase composites in the field of essential interfacial versatile chemistries.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: In this context of highly challenging functionalization issue of these chemically inert hydrophobic nanomaterials, an innovative method of surface functionalization (versatile polycarboxylate – polyCOOH shell formation) of multi-walled inorganic nanotubes (INTs-WS2) and fullerene-like (IFs-WS2) nanoparticles has been successfully developed. This covalent functionalization method makes use of highly electrophilic and reactive iminium salts (Vilsmeier-Haack (VH) complexes) to enable the introduction of a chemically versatile polyacidic (polyCOOH) shell onto the surface of VH-treated inorganic nanomaterials. Moreover, a significant statistical design of experiments (DoE) method has been also involved for global optimization of this multi-parametric polycarboxylation shell generation.
Findings: This INTs-nanotube sidewall polyCOOH-enabling functionalization showed extreme COOH-based chemical versatility for innovative-targeted interfacial chemistries. It enabled the effective fabrication of a wide range of covalent WS2-INTs surface modifications (polyNH2, polyOH, polySH) via (i) polyCOOH chemical activation (EDC, CDI) and (ii) 2nd step covalent nucleophilic substitutions by short w-aminated ligands H2N-linker-X (X outer surface functionality).
Conclusion & Significance: Resulting fully characterized functional INTs-WS2 (f-INTs-WS2) have a quite wide potential for use as novel functional nanoscale fillers towards new mechanically strengthened and/or conductive composite polymeric matrices (case of hybrid polythiophene-decorated f-INTs-WS2 nanocomposites, Figure 1). Corresponding novel functional nanomaterials/nanoscale fillers have been also shown to be non-toxic in preliminary toxicity studies, which opens a wide R&D route/progress for relating end-user applications (cellular toxic CNTs nanofillers replacement for example).