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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 58(9)

Current Understanding of Formation Mechanisms in Surfactant-Templated Materials

Karen J. Edler

Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. Email: k.edler@bath.ac.uk
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Surfactant-templated materials are created through self-assembly in solutions containing both surfactant micelles and an inorganic species. The resulting materials are composites containing an organized surfactant micelle array encapsulated in the inorganic material. Removal of the surfactants generates nanoscale pores which replicate the highly organized micelle phase, producing high surface area materials with uniform pores that have applications in catalysis, molecular separation, encapsulation for sensors and slow release, and thin films for optoelectronics and photoelectrochemical devices. This review looks at recent work aimed at understanding how these materials self-assemble from dilute surfactant solutions to form intricate nanoscale configurations, which also often show complex and highly ordered structures on longer length scales.

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