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Solution-based self-assembly synthesis of two-dimensional-ordered mesoporous conducting polymer nanosheets with versatile properties


Conducting polymers with conjugated backbones have been widely used in electrochemical energy storage, catalysts, gas sensors and biomedical devices. In particular, two-dimensional (2D) mesoporous conducting polymers combine the advantages of mesoporous structure and 2D nanosheet morphology with the inherent properties of conducting polymers, thus exhibiting improved electrochemical performance. Despite the use of bottom-up self-assembly approaches for the fabrication of a variety of mesoporous materials over the past decades, the synchronous control of the dimensionalities and mesoporous architectures for conducting polymer nanomaterials remains a challenge. Here, we detail a simple, general and robust route for the preparation of a series of 2D mesoporous conducting polymer nanosheets with adjustable pore size (5–20 nm) and thickness (13–45 nm) and controllable morphology and composition via solution-based self-assembly. The synthesis conditions and preparation procedures are detailed to ensure the reproducibility of the experiments. We describe the fabrication of over ten high-quality 2D-ordered mesoporous conducting polymers and sandwich-structured hybrids, with tunable thickness, porosity and large specific surface area, which can serve as potential candidates for high-performance electrode materials used in supercapacitors and alkali metal ion batteries, and so on. The preparation time of the 2D-ordered mesoporous conducting polymer is usually no more than 12 h. The subsequent supercapacitor testing takes ~24 h and the Na ion battery testing takes ~72 h. The procedure is suitable for users with expertise in physics, chemistry, materials and other related disciplines.

Key points

  • The synthesis of two-dimensional mesoporous conducting polymer nanosheets, completed in aqueous solution at room temperature, entails micellar formation, followed by their ordered self-assembly on soft two-dimensional templates, the adsorption of monomers, the in situ polymerization of conducting polymer monomers and the removal of the templates.

  • The process is more flexible, tunable and cheaper than the alternative based on the reverse replication of hard templates.

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Fig. 1: Schematic diagram of 2D-ordered mesoporous CP nanosheets (top) and picture of the synthesis process of the mPPy@GO sandwich-structured hybrid (bottom).
Fig. 2: Illustration of the experimental setup.
Fig. 3: Schematic illustration of the construction of a mesoporous CP layer on 2D functionalized surfaces.
Fig. 4: Construct the mesoporous polymer layer on other functionalized free-standing surfaces.
Fig. 5: Illustration of the mPANi nanosheets.
Fig. 6: Structural characterizations of mPPy@GO nanosheets.
Fig. 7: Images of the mPPy@GO nanosheets.
Fig. 8: Electrochemical performance of 2D mPPy@GO nanosheets.
Fig. 9: Morphology and structure of mPPy nanosheets.
Fig. 10: Na ion battery performance of the mPPy nanosheets.
Fig. 11: Morphology and structure of mPANi nanosheets.
Fig. 12: Images of the mPANi nanosheets.

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Data availability

All data supporting the findings of this study are included in the article and the references listed in the Supplementary Information. Source data for the figures in this study are available at


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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 51773062 and 61831021) and the ERC Grant on 2DMATER.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.L. and X.F. conceived and designed the experiments. S.L. performed the experiments. R.D. assisted the experiments. F.W., T.Z., Y.W. and W.L. drafted the manuscript and developed the protocol. All of the authors discussed the experiments and co-wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jiangong Cheng, Xinliang Feng or Shaohua Liu.

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Key references using this protocol

Liu, S. et al. Nat. Commun. 6, 8817 (2015):

Liu, S. et al. Adv. Mater. 28, 8365–8370 (2016):

Liu, S. et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 128, 12704–12709 (2016):

Supplementary information

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Wei, F., Zhang, T., Dong, R. et al. Solution-based self-assembly synthesis of two-dimensional-ordered mesoporous conducting polymer nanosheets with versatile properties. Nat Protoc 18, 2459–2484 (2023).

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