Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
REVIEW

Current Understanding of Formation Mechanisms in Surfactant-Templated Materials

Karen J. Edler
+ Author Affiliations
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Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK. Email: k.edler@bath.ac.uk




Karen Edler is a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the University of Bath. She did science/law degrees at the University of Sydney before receiving her doctorate in physical chemistry from the Australian National University in 1998 for work on surfactant-templated silicates. This was followed by a two-year postdoctoral stint in biophysics at Cornell University, New York, and then a joint inorganic/physical chemistry position at the University of Bath and the University of Bristol. She was awarded a four-year Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2000 which enabled her to start her own research group working on self-assembly in systems ranging from inorganic-surfactant materials, to polyelectrolyte surfactant solutions, to nanoparticle arrays, and on applications of the materials produced.

Australian Journal of Chemistry 58(9) 627-643 https://doi.org/10.1071/CH05141
Submitted: 10 June 2005  Accepted: 5 August 2005   Published: 21 September 2005

Abstract

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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