Synthesis of thermally stable highly ordered nanoporous tin oxide thin films with a 3D face-centered orthorhombic nanostructure
Thin films of nanoporous tin oxide with a 3D face-centered orthorhombic nanostructure have been synthesized by self-assembly that is controlled by post-coating thermal treatment under controlled humidity. In contrast to the conventional evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA), the films here have no ordered nanostructure after dip-coating. However, the initial coatings are formed under conditions that inhibit significant hydrolysis and condensation for extended periods. This allows the use of postsynthesis thermal vapor treatments to completely control the formation of the nanostructure. With EO106-PO70-EO106 (Pluronic F127) triblock copolymer as the template, highly ordered nanostructures were generated by exposing the disordered films to a stream of water vapor at elevated temperature, which rehydrates the films and allows the formation of the thermodynamically favored phase. Further exposure to water vapor drives the condensation reaction through the elimination of HCl. The X-ray diffraction pattern from the nanostructure was indexed in the space group Fmmm as determined by analysis of 2D small-angle X-ray scattering patterns at various angles of incidence. The nanostructure is then stabilized and made nanoporous by extended controlled thermal treatments. After self-assembly and template removal, the films are thermally stable up to 600 degrees C and retain an ordered, face-centered orthorhombic nanostructure.
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