Block Copolymer Templating as a Simple Route to Complex Nanostructured Materials
Keywords: block copolymers, templating, nanoporous materials, mesoporous materials, self-assembly
Abstract:Block-copolymer templating of inorganic frameworks provides a powerful way to produce periodic nanoporous materials through simple solution phase routes. The periodicity provides mechanical robustness that allows the frameworks to withstand the strains associated with crystallization of the walls with minimal changes in porosity. In this talk, we will examine a variety of systems that take advantage of this type of polymer templating to produce functional nanostructured materials. We first explore how the pore space in a variety of nanoporous oxides can be filled to produce functional materials with properties uniquely determined by the combination of the framework composition and architecture, and the pore filling material. We next consider how templating methods can be used to produce architectures optimized for applications in energy storage. Specifically, we will explore the hierarchical assembly of nanocrystals using block copolymers and their applications as supercapacitors. Finally, if time permits, we will consider how templated nanoporous oxides can be used as precursors to other materials. An example of this phenomenon would be the reaction whereby nanoporous silica is reduced to periodic nanoporous silicon.