Synthesis of Macroporous Minerals with Highly Ordered Three-Dimensional Arrays of Spheroidal VoidsBrian T. Holland, Christopher F. Blanford, Andreas Stein
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.