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Silica Gels with Tunable Nanopores through Templating of the L3 Phase

Summary: Silica Gels with Tunable Nanopores through Templating of
the L3 Phase
K. M. McGrath, D. M. Dabbs,, N. Yao, K. J. Edler,| I. A. Aksay,*,, and
S. M. Gruner|
Chemistry Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, Department of
Chemical Engineering and Princeton Materials Institute, Princeton University,
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5263, and Physics Department, Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York 14853-2501
Received February 1, 1999. In Final Form: September 8, 1999
We describe a detailed synthesis of a silicified inorganic/organic nanoporous monolithic composite
conforming to the lyotropic liquid crystalline L3 phase. The pore dimensions of the silicified L3 phase scale
with the solvent volume fraction in the synthesis reaction mixture. Changing the solvent fraction in the
initial solution changes the ultimate pore diameter in the silicate, providing a simple method for tuning
the diameter of the pores in the matrix. The resulting monolith is optically isotropic and transparent with
a nonperiodic network. Accessible pores (which permeate the entire structure) in the silicified materials
correlate with the solvent domain of the original liquid crystalline phase and therefore negate the need
to remove the surfactant in order to gain access to the pore network. Measured characteristic dimensions
are from 6 to well over 35 nm. X-ray scattering studies indicate a low polydispersity in the pore diameters
for a given solvent fraction. Transmission electron and atomic force microscope images are consistent with
a random morphology and measured surface areas exceed 960 m2 g-1 in extracted materials.


Source: Aksay, Ilhan A. - Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University
Gruner, Sol M. - Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Cornell University


Collections: Materials Science; Physics