Nano Letters

Oriented mesoporous organosilicate thin films

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Coassemblies of block copolymers and inorganic precursors offer a path to ordered inorganic nanostructures. In thin films, these materials combined with domain alignment provide highly robust nanoscopic templates. We report a simple path to control the morphology, scalinig, and orientation of ordered mesopores in organosilicate thin films through the coassembly of a diblock copolymer poly(styrene-b-ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO), and an oligomeric organosilicate precursor that is selectively miscible with PEO. Continuous films containing cylindrical or spherical pores are generated by varying the mixing composition of symmetric PS-b-PEO and an organosilicate precursor. Tuning interfacial energy at both air/film and film/substrate interfaces allows the control of cylindrical pore orientation normal to the supported film surfaces. Our method provides well-ordered mesoporous structures within organosilicate thin films that find broad applications as highly stable nanotemplates. © 2005 American Chemical Society.