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Substrate effect on nanoporous structure of silica wires by channel-confined self-assembly of block-copolymer and sol-gel precursors

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA

Special Issues: Multifunctional Oxide Materials

Nanoporous silica wires of various wire diameters were developed by space-confined molecular self-assembly of triblock copolymer ethylene/propylene/ethylene (P123) and silica alkoxide precursor (tetraethylorthosilicate, TEOS). Two distinctive hard-templating substrates, anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) and track-etched polycarbonate (EPC), with channel diameters in the range between 10 nm and 200 nm were employed for space-confinement of soft molecular self-assembly driven by the block-copolymer microphase separation. It was observed in the scanning and transmission electron microscope (STEM) studies that the substrate geometry and material characteristics had pronounced effects on the structure and morphology of the silica nanowires. A “substrate wall effect” was proposed to explain the ordering and orientation of the intra-wire mesostructure. Circular and spiral nanostructures were found only in wires formed in AAO substrate, not in EPC. Pore-size differences and distinctive wall morphologies of the nanowires relating to the substrates were discussed. It was shown that the material and channel wall characteristics of different substrates play key roles in the ordering and morphology of the intra-wire nanostructures.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, Michael Z. Hu, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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