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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Feb 3;132(4):1208-9. doi: 10.1021/ja908707a.

Evidence of double-walled Al-Ge imogolite-like nanotubes. a cryo-TEM and SAXS investigation.

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CEA, IRAMIS, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire sur l'Organisation Nanom├ętrique et Supramol├ęculaire 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


It has been recently discovered that the synthesis of Al-Ge imogolite-like nanotubes is possible at high concentration. Despite this initial success, the structure of these Al-Ge imogolite-like nanotubes remains not completely understood. Using high resolution cryo-TEM and Small Angle X-ray Scattering, we unravel their mesoscale structure in two contrasted situations. On the one hand, Al-Ge imogolite nanotubes synthesized at 0.25 M are double-walled nanotubes of 4.0 +/- 0.1 nm with an inner tube of 2.4 +/- 0.1 nm. Moreover, SAXS data also suggest that the two concentric tubes have an equal length and identical wall structure. On the other hand, at higher concentration (0.5M), both SAXS and cryo-TEM data confirm the formation of single-walled nanotubes of 3.5 +/- 0.15 nm. Infrared spectroscopy confirms the imogolite structure of the tubes. This is the first evidence of any double-walled imogolite or imogolite-like nanotubes likely to renew interest in these materials and associated potential applications.


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