Synthesis of surfactant-templated silica films with orthogonally aligned hexagonal mesophase

Venkat R. Koganti, Stephen E. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Thin silica films with orthogonally aligned hexagonal close-packed cylindrical structure are synthesized by dip coating silica precursors and poly(ethylene oxide)-polyproplyene oxide (PEO-PPO) triblock surfactants (P123) onto modified glass slides. All films cast from this sol display 2D hexagonal pore structures (a ∼ 6.2 nm) under transmission electron microscopy (TEM). However, X-ray diffraction (XRD) shows that confining freshly deposited films between two chemically neutral modified slides completely aligns the pores toward the direction orthogonal to the substrate. Equally effective alignment is obtained by using slides modified with either a random PEO-PPO copolymer or P123 itself. The channels in films cast onto unmodified slides, onto modified slides which are exposed to air, or onto modified slides which are exposed to unmodified glass slides align at least partially parallel to the substrate. Parallel mesophase alignment is also observed in a control experiment with a sol containing the nonionic surfactant template decaethelyne glycol hexadecyl ether (Brij-56) sandwiched between copolymer-modified slides because the surfaces are not chemically neutral toward Brij-56. This study confirms that it is possible to use substrate surface chemistry to control the orientation of mesophases in mixtures of reactive silicates and low molecular weight nonionic surfactant templates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3279-3283
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 3 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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