PerspectiveMaterials Science

Making Nanoscale Materials with Supercritical Fluids

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Science  23 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5657, pp. 482-483
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093951

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Nature uses templates to grow bone and other biominerals. As Johnston and Shah describe in their Perspective, this concept has been applied by Pai et al. to create silicate films with highly ordered pores and low dielectric constants. In this work, reported in the same issue, block copolymer micelles were used as the template. Supercritical carbon dioxide was used as the solvent to swell the polymer enough to allow the reactants to enter. Not only are the silicate films created in this way of interest in microelectronics, but the synthesis rate was fast enough to be useful in a fabrication facility.