Synthesis of organized mesoporous metal oxide films templated by amphiphilic PVA-PMMA comb copolymer

Do Hyun Kim, Min Su Park, Hyung Hee Cho, Jung Tae Park, Jong Hak Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The morphology and structure of metal oxide films play pivotal roles in determining their properties in various applications, e.g., catalysis and energy conversion. We present a general synthesis of organized mesoporous metal oxide films with high porosity and good interconnectivity via a sol-gel process using an amphiphilic poly(vinyl alcohol)-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PVA-PMMA) comb copolymer as a structure-directing agent. PVA-PMMA synthesis proceeded via a one-step free radical polymerization, a scalable and economical method for polymer synthesis. Despite a very low combing degree (3 wt%), a large amount of PMMA (25 wt%) was combed to the PVA backbones, resulting in a unique microphase-separated structure. Using a mixed solvent (i.e., dimethyl sulfoxide/tetrahydrofuran) was critical in obtaining the micellization of PVA-PMMA and homogeneous metal oxide films. During the sol-gel process, the hydrolyzed metal precursor selectively interacted with the hydrophilic PVA backbones through coordination, leading to an organized mesoporous structure. Homogeneously well-organized mesoporous structures were obtained for TiO2, SiO2, Al2O3, and ZrO2, but particulate structures were formed for Fe2O3 and ZnO owing to high reactivity and rapid hydrolysis. Detailed discussion of parameters determining morphology and structure is provided, which is essential for the rational design and reproducible construction of mesoporous metal oxides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67849-67857
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number72
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Center for Advanced Meta-Materials (NRF-2014M3A6B3063716) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF-2015R1C1A1A01053807).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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