Mesoporous TiO<inf>2</inf> films with regularly aligned slit-like nanovoids

Hirokatsu Miyata*, Yuta Fukushima, Yosuke Kanno, Saeko Hayase, Shintaro Hara, Masatoshi Watanabe, Shin Kitamura, Masahiko Takahashi, Kazuyuki Kuroda

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Novel mesoporous TiO<inf>2</inf> films with regularly aligned slit-like nanovoids are prepared through structural transformation from a mesostructured TiO<inf>2</inf> film with honeycomb-packed aligned cylindrical micelles by pyrolytic removal of the micelle template. The transformation takes place through interconnection of the TiO<inf>2</inf> walls of the framework in the thickness direction by a heat-induced shrinkage and eventual collapse of the original channel structure. For the formation of this new structure, the preparation of a mesostructured titania film with cylindrical micelles aligned entirely in the plane of the film over the whole thickness is indispensable. This is achieved by coating a substrate, on which a rubbing-treated polyimide layer is formed, with a precursor solution containing two nonionic surfactants, Brij56 and P123. In the mixed surfactant system, Brij56 works as an alignment-controlling agent through selective and directional adsorption on the anisotropic polymer surface. On the other hand, P123 suppresses the formation of a surface layer without controlled in-plane alignment, which has been inevitable when Brij56 is used alone. This is caused by the retarded condensation of the TiO<inf>2</inf> precursors due to increased coordination of oxyethylene moieties on titanium. P123 also increases the wall thickness of the framework, which also contributes to the formation of this mesoporous TiO<inf>2</inf> film with oriented regular slit-like voids. The structural transformation takes place in a relatively low temperature range lower than 300 °C, which shows that the driving force is not crystallization. The mesoporous TiO<inf>2</inf> films with aligned slit-like voids show optical anisotropy, birefringence, with a Δn value of ∼0.023 reflecting the structural anisotropy of the film. Calcination of the aligned mesostructured TiO<inf>2</inf> film at 450 °C induces crystallization of TiO<inf>2</inf>, which deteriorates the meso-scale structural regularity by interconnection of the TiO<inf>2</inf> walls. However, the partial retention of the regular structure is confirmed in the vicinity of the surface, which allows the retention of the optical anisotropy. The novel mesoporous TiO<inf>2</inf> films in this paper have potential for optical applications by combining their unique anisotropic mesostructure, which enhances the accessibility to the inner surface, with various properties of TiO<inf>2</inf> such as high refractive index and photocatalytic activity. This journal is

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3869-3875
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 28

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Materials Chemistry


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