Formation of three-dimensional ordered hierarchically porous metal oxides via a hybridized epoxide assisted/colloidal crystal templating approach

Marauo Davis, Donald A. Ramirez, Louisa J. Hope-Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three-dimensionally ordered hierarchically porous alumina, iron(III) oxide, yttria, and nickel oxide have been prepared through the hybridization of colloidal crystal-templating and a modified sol-gel method. Simply, highly ordered arrays of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) were infiltrated with a precursor solution of metal salt and epoxide. Calcination after solidification of the material removed the polymer template while forming the inverse replicas, simultaneously. These hierarchical structures possessing macropore windows and mesopore walls were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and N 2 adsorption/desorption techniques to probe the structural integrity. It was revealed by PXRD that the prepared 3D frameworks were single-phase polycrystalline structures with grain sizes between 5 and 27 nm. The thermal stability as studied by TGA illustrates expected weight losses and full decomposition of the PMMA template. SEM reveals the bimodal, hierarchical macroporous frameworks with well-defined macropore windows and mesoporous walls. Gas sorption measurements of the ordered materials display surface areas as high as 93 m2 g-1, and average mesopore diameter up to 33 nm. Due to the versatility of this method, we expect these materials will be ideal candidates for applications in catalysis, adsorption, and separations. Furthermore, the implementation of this technology for production of three-dimensionally ordered macroporous materials can improve the cost and efficiency of metal oxide frameworks (MOFs) due to its high versatility and amenability to numerous systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7786-7792
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume5
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2013

Keywords

  • colloidal crystal templating
  • epoxide addition
  • hierarchical materials
  • metal oxide
  • three-dimensional macropores

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