Magnetic Field Alignment of Ordered Silicate-Surfactant Composites and Mesoporous Silica

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Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 264-268
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.264

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Macroscopic orientational ordering of the pores of condensed hexagonal mesostructured silica (MCM-41) was achieved through alignment of an unpolymerized, hexagonal, lyotropic silicate-surfactant liquid crystal in a high magnetic field. This alignment was preserved after polymerization of the silicate species by acid treatment. Subsequent calcination to remove the surfactant yielded a mesoporous silica solid that retained both macroscopic pore alignment and mesoscale periodicity. Potential applications of such liquid crystal processing strategies range from the formation of anisotropic silica-based bulk ceramics to the production of oriented mesoporous thin films for chemical sensors, separations, catalysis, or host-guest applications.

  • * Permanent address: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095–1569, USA.

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