Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Stabilizing Surfactant Templated Cylindrical Mesopores in Polymer and Carbon Films through Composite Formation with Silica Reinforcement

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2010


A facile approach to maintain the periodic mesostructure of cylindrical pores in polymer-resin and carbon films after thermal template removal is explored through the reactive coassembly of resol (carbon precursor) and tetraethylorthosilicate (silica precursor) with triblock copolymer Pluronic F127. Without silica, a low porosity, disordered film is formed after pyrolysis despite the presence of an ordered mesostructure prior to template removal. However for silica concentration greater than 25 wt %, pyrolysis at 350 °C yields a mesoporous silica−polymer film with well-defined pore mesostructure. These films remain well ordered upon carbonization at 800 °C. In addition to the mesostructural stability, the addition of silica to the matrix impacts other morphological characteristics. For example, the average pore size and porosity of the films increase from 3.2 to 7.5 nm and 12 to 45%, respectively, as the concentration of silica in the wall matrix increases from 0 to 32 wt %. The improved thermal stability of the ordered mesostructure with the addition of silica to the matrix is attributed to the reinforcement of the mechanical properties leading to resistance to stress induced collapse of the mesostructure during template removal.



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