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Title: Generalized Access to Mesoporous Inorganic Particles and Hollow Spheres from Multicomponent Polymer Blends

Mesoporous inorganic particles and hollow spheres are of increasing interest for a broad range of applications, but synthesis approaches are typically material specific, complex, or lack control over desired structures. Here it is reported how combining mesoscale block copolymer (BCP) directed inorganic materials self‐assembly and macroscale spinodal decomposition can be employed in multicomponent BCP/hydrophilic inorganic precursor blends with homopolymers to prepare mesoporous inorganic particles with controlled meso‐ and macrostructures. The homogeneous multicomponent blend solution undergoes dual phase separation upon solvent evaporation. Microphase‐separated (BCP/inorganic precursor)‐domains are confined within the macrophase‐separated majority homopolymer matrix, being self‐organized toward particle shapes that minimize the total interfacial area/energy. The pore orientation and particle shape (solid spheres, oblate ellipsoids, hollow spheres) are tailored by changing the kind of homopolymer matrix and associated enthalpic interactions. Furthermore, the sizes of particle and hollow inner cavity are tailored by changing the relative amount of homopolymer matrix and the rates of solvent evaporation. Pyrolysis yields discrete mesoporous inorganic particles and hollow spheres. The present approach enables a high degree of control over pore structure, orientation, and size (15–44 nm), particle shape, particle size (0.6–3 µm), inner cavity size (120–700 nm), and chemical composition (e.g., aluminosilicates, carbon, and metal oxides).

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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