Transition-Metal-Ion-Mediated Polymerization of Dopamine: Mussel-Inspired Approach for the Facile Synthesis of Robust Transition-Metal Nanoparticle–Graphene Hybrids

Authors

  • Dr. Liping Yang,

    1. Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 1 Pesek Road, Jurong Island, Singapore 627833 (Singapore)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Dr. Junhua Kong,

    1. Temasek Labs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637553 (Singapore)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Dr. Dan Zhou,

    1. Temasek Labs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637553 (Singapore)
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Jia Ming Ang,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
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  • Dr. Si Lei Phua,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
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  • Dr. Wu Aik Yee,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
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  • Hai Liu,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
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  • Prof. Yizhong Huang,

    1. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
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  • Prof. Xuehong Lu

    Corresponding author
    1. Temasek Labs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637553 (Singapore)
    2. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
    • Temasek Labs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637553 (Singapore)

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Abstract

Inspired by the high transition-metal-ion content in mussel glues, and the cross-linking and mechanical reinforcement effects of some transition-metal ions in mussel threads, high concentrations of nickel(II), cobalt(II), and manganese(II) ions have been purposely introduced into the reaction system for dopamine polymerization. Kinetics studies were conducted for the Ni2+–dopamine system to investigate the polymerization mechanism. The results show that the Ni2+ ions could accelerate the assembly of dopamine oligomers in the polymerization process. Spectroscopic and electron microscopic studies reveal that the Ni2+ ions are chelated with polydopamine (PDA) units, forming homogeneous Ni2+–PDA complexes. This facile one-pot approach is utilized to construct transition-metal-ion–PDA complex thin coatings on graphene oxide, which can be carbonized to produce robust hybrid nanosheets with well-dispersed metallic nickel/metallic cobalt/manganese(II) oxide nanoparticles embedded in PDA-derived thin graphitic carbon layers. The nickel–graphene hybrid prepared by using this approach shows good catalytic properties and recyclability for the reduction of p-nitrophenol.

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