Malfatti, Luca and Bellino, Martín Gonzalo and Innocenzi, Plinio and Soler-Illia, Galo J. A. A. (2009) One-pot route to produce hierarchically porous titania thin films by controlled self-assembly, swelling, and phase separation. Chemistry of materials, Vol. 21 (13), p. 2763-2769. eISSN 1520-5002. Article.
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Expanding mesopore size beyond a 10 nm diameter is a big challenge for developing applications based on mesostructured-mesoporous thin films, especially in nanobiotechnology. This triggers the need of new multipore materials produced by reproducible soft chemistry routes. We present here a novel and simple one-pot synthesis method that allows the creation of a new kind of hierarchically porous thin film using a combination of supramolecular templating and phase separation. Accurate tuning of pore size distribution (bimodal, with small mesopores 13−18 nm diameter, and large pores 20−150 nm diameter) is attained by controlling the solubility of a pore enhancement agent, poly(propylene glycol), in the presence of a co-solvent. The reported strategy permits the in situ tuning of the processes that govern the pore generation at different length scales; this opens a path for fabrication of multimodal mesoporous films, which represents an important breakthrough in the field.
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