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Porous metal oxide materials through novel fabrication procedures

Nicholas Raymond Hendricks, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Porous metal oxide materials, particularly those comprised of silica or titania, find use in many applications such as low-k dielectric materials for microelectronics as well as chemical sensors, micro/nanofluidic devices, and catalyst substrates. For this dissertation, the focus will be on the processing of porous metal oxide materials covering two subjects: hierarchical porosity exhibited over two discrete length scales and incorporation of functional nanomaterials. To generate the porous silica materials, the technique of supercritical carbon dioxide infusion (scCO2) processing was heavily relied upon. Briefly, the scCO2 infusion processing utilizes phase selective chemistries within a pre-organized amphiphilic block copolymer template using scCO2 as the reaction medium to selectively hydrolyze and condense silica precursors to yield mesoporous materials. To further develop the scCO 2 infusion processing technique, hierarchically porous silica materials were generated on unique substrates. Hierarchically structured silica nanochannels were created using a combination of scCO2 infusion processing and nanoimprint lithography (NIL) patterned sacrificial polymer templates to yield mesopores and airgap structures respectively. Hierarchically porous silica materials were also generated on alternative substrates, in the form of cellulose filter paper, which were used to host the amphiphilic block copolymer template to yield tri-modal porosity silica materials. To extend the applicability of mesoporous silica generated from scCO 2 infusion processing, functional nanomaterials, in the form of pre-synthesized gold nanoparticles, fullerene derivatives, and polyhedral oligomeric silsequioxanes (POSS) were embedded within the mesoporous silica to produce unique composite materials. The functional nanomaterials were able to impart specific properties, typically only affored to the functional nanomaterials, upon the mesoporous silica thin film with an example being enhanced thermal and hydrothermal properties of mesoporous silica doped with POSS molecules. To continue research with functional nanomaterials, nanoparticle composite materials, comprised of crystalline metal oxide nanoparticles and binder/filler materials, either organic or inorganic, were also evaluated as novel NIL resist materials. Patterning of the nanoparticle composite materials, specifically, but not limited to, titanium dioxide based materials, into two dimensional, arbitrarily shaped, sub-micron features was readily achieved on either rigid or flexible substrates. True three-dimensional structures, based on nanoparticle composite materials, were fabricated by utilizing release layers and pre-patterned substrates.

Subject Area

Nanoscience|Nanotechnology|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Hendricks, Nicholas Raymond, "Porous metal oxide materials through novel fabrication procedures" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3545937.