What is new in the method and why do we believe that it is promising?
This is the first study to use 3D colloidal crystals as templates for forming durable solid-state materials.
We bridged two research fields of growing importance — colloidal crystallization and porous silica.
In contrast to MCM-41 phases, the pore size is precisely tunable in a wide range. Materials with excellently ordered pores ranging from 190 to 1000 nm in size were obtained.
The concept of modifying the particle surfaces by surfactant adsorption makes the method applicable to colloidal crystals prepared from a wide variety of particles.
Further developments can bring about advanced composite materials with functionalized particles embedded in the pores.
This is a step-by-step controllable process that has promise for a quick transition to practical production.
O. D. Velev, T. A. Jede, R. F. Lobo and A. M. Lenhoff, Nature, 389, 447 (1997).
O. D. Velev, T. A. Jede, R. F. Lobo and A. M. Lenhoff, Chem. Mater., 10, 3597 (1998).
Download a brief overview paper of this research in PDF format
© O. D. Velev 1998