We are pleased to announce a new research article, "Mesostructure of Mesoporous Silica/Anodic Alumina Hierarchical Membranes Tuned with Ethanol" published by NICE group members Silo Meoto, Niall Kent, Michael Nigra, and Marc-Olivier Coppens in Langmuir, online from 24 April 2017.
Hierarchically structured membranes composed of mesoporous silica embedded inside the channels of anodic alumina (MS-AAM) were synthesized using the aspiration method. Ethanol is shown to have a significant effect on the type and organization of the mesoporous silica phase. Detailed textural analysis revealed that the pore size distribution of the mesoporous silica narrows and the degree of ordering increases with decreasing ethanol concentration used in the synthesis mixture. The silica mesopores were synthesized with pores as small as 6 nm in diameter, with the channel direction oriented in lamellar, circular, and columnar directions depending on the ethanol content. This study reveals ethanol concentration as a key factor behind the synthesis of an ordered mesoporous silica–anodic alumina membrane that can increase its functionality for membrane-based applications.