DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5376.538 ISSN:

Synthesis of Macroporous Minerals with Highly Ordered Three-Dimensional Arrays of Spheroidal Voids

Brian T. Holland, Christopher F. Blanford, Andreas Stein
  • Multidisciplinary

Titania, zirconia, and alumina samples with periodic three-dimensional arrays of macropores were synthesized from the corresponding metal alkoxides, using latex spheres as templates. In a fast, single-step reaction, the monomeric alkoxide precursors permeate the array of bulk polystyrene spheres and condense in air at room temperature. Close packed, open-pore structures with 320- to 360-nanometer voids are obtained after calcination of the organic component at 575°C. The examples presented demonstrate the compositional diversity possible with this technique. The resulting highly structured ceramics could have applications in areas ranging from quantum electronics to photocatalysis to battery materials.

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