Tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) films with nanoscale structural anisotropy, which are obliquely deposited on a substrate by a filtered cathodic vacuum arc deposition (FAD) technique, allow anisotropic growth of mesostructured silica films thereon. The ta-C films have a uniformly tilted nanoscale columnar structure, which is caused by the self-shadowing effect during the oblique deposition, and consequently, the surface of the film can be morphologically anisotropic when the deposition angle is large enough. When silica films with a two-dimensional hexagonal mesostructure are grown under hydrothermal conditions on these ta-C films, the cylindrical mesochannels are aligned perpendicularly to the deposition direction of ta-C. The distribution of the in-plane alignment direction of the mesochannels can be controlled by the deposition angle of ta-C; it becomes narrower with the increase of the deposition angle and the consequent increase of the surface roughness. The observed alignment of the mesochannels is caused by the anisotropic accommodation of the surfactant molecules on the structurally anisotropic surface of the ta-C films, which is consistent with the fact that the ta-C films prepared at small deposition angles with smoother surface morphology have little alignment controllability. The ta-C film can be removed with the surfactant by calcination, allowing the formation of an aligned mesoporous silica film directly on a substrate. In contrast to this, obliquely evaporated SiO2 films with a distinct tilted columnar structure and an anisotropic surface morphology provide neither continuous film formation nor controlled alignment of mesochannels even after providing hydrophobicity by a silylation process. This suggests the specificity, in particular, intrinsic strong hydrophobicity, of the ta-C films for the aligned mesostructured silica film formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry