Mesoporous Germanium

Science  11 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5788, pp. 729
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5788.729n

A number of routes exist for creating materials that are structured on the nanometer scale, and similarly for creating materials that are mesoporous, but merging the two properties into a single material is quite a challenge. Armatas and Kanatzidis (p. 817, published online 20 July) have now achieved this goal for germanium, an important semiconductor material of technological interest. They link together negatively charged Ge Zintl ions with tetravalent Ge in the presence of a liquid crystalline surfactant that templates the framework. The surfactant was removed with an ion-exchange process, and the resulting mesoporous germanium showed hexagonal pore ordering and size-dependent optical properties and photoluminescence.

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