Pillaring and Intercalation of Gold Nanoparticles in Layered Manganese Oxide

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Layered manganese oxide, MnO2, was investigated to determine potential ways to produce superior electrochemical properties for supercapacitors and other energy related applications. First, the layered material K0.45MnO2 was synthesized and ion exchanged to produce H0.45MnO2. This material was then used in two ways. First, an attempt was made to pillar the material using a linear amine and a tertiary amine. Through the use of the Tyndall effect and XRD, the results of this attempt showed that pillaring was unsuccessful, and that the material appeared to exfoliate instead. Second, the material was intentionally exfoliated with TBAOH to produce MnO2 nanosheets, and then those nanosheets were mixed with gold nanoparticles and flocculated to obtain a layered MnO2 material with gold nanoparticles dispersed in the interlayer. XRD and SEM images suggest that a disordered, layered material with gold particles intercalated into the interlayer was obtained, with an estimated stacking-direction crystallite size of 104Å. However, the gold did not seem well dispersed, as there were layered MnO2 sections with no gold found during SEM/EDS analysis. Additionally, floccules that did have gold contained gold particles with an estimated average diameter of 259nm +/- 137nm, which is between 25 and 80 times larger than the nanoparticles initially used. This suggests that the gold agglomerated, and did not evenly disperse as expected.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Material Science, Engineering, Chemistry