Recent progress in soft-templating of porous carbon materials
Mesoporous carbons synthesized via a soft-templating approach have attracted much attention due to their easy synthesis and facile control over the derived pore structure. In analogy to soft-templating approaches for mesoporous metal oxides, their synthesis is based on a sequence of forming supramolecular arrangements of precursor molecules with the soft templates, stabilization of the precursor framework by polymerization and finally the removal of the templates. Using micelles of amphiphilic block-copolymers as templates, facile control over the morphology and size of mesopores can be achieved by e.g. controlling size, composition, and concentration of the template polymers or composition and degree of polymerization of the precursor. Moreover, soft templating approaches can be extended to obtain also carbon materials with hierarchical meso- and macroporosity. The additional macroporosity either can result from templating by polymer latex or is induced via macrophase separation. In this review, we describe recent progress and examples in the synthesis and application of mesoporous carbon materials based on soft-templating approaches. Moreover, we reiterate fundamental principles of self-aggregation, highlight proposed synthesis mechanisms and present means of controlling pore size, also in hierarchical meso–macroporous carbon materials.
Published in: Soft matter, 10.1039/c2sm07448f, Royal Society of Chemistry
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