Tuning the wall thickness and pore orientation in mesoporous titania films prepared with low-temperature aging

Qing Liu Wu, Stephen E. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Porous titania thin films with well-ordered mesostructures are prepared by using Pluronic surfactant P123 as the pore template and aging the films in a high-humidity environment at -6 °C. These structures are stable enough to undergo calcination at 400 °C to generate nanocrystalline TiO2 walls with retention of mesoporosity. Under the aging conditions used, the films have well-ordered mesostructures even with a molar ratio of P123 to titanium (R) as small as 0.006. Because the P123 micelle diameter remains constant across a range of compositions, the pore diameter also remains fixed but the wall thickness of the titania thin films increases as the P123 concentration decreases without decreasing the long-range order of the products. Furthermore, mesoporous titania thin films with hexagonal close-packed channels oriented perpendicular to the substrate can be obtained R values of 0.008-0.012 by sandwiching the as-prepared films between glass slides modified with crosslinked P123. Analysis of the mesophases obtained here indicates that a transition from films containing significant 2D hexagonal channels to 3D hexagonal structure occurs below P123/Ti = 0.008. This does not match the expected volume fraction for this transition based on the mesophases behavior of aqueous P123 at room temperature, suggesting that a more detailed model would be needed to predict mesostructure in titania films aged below the freezing point of water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the US Department of Energy under grant number DE-FG02-07ER46375.


  • Mesoporous
  • P123
  • Thin film
  • Titania
  • Wall thickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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