The synthesis of 2D hexagonal mesoporous platinum films with biaxial, in-plane pore alignment is demonstrated by electrodeposition through an aligned lyotropic liquid crystal templating phase. Shear force is used to align a hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystalline templating phase of an inexpensive and a commercially available surfactant, C16EO10, at the surface of an electrode. Electrodeposition and subsequent characterisation of the films produced shows that the orientation and alignment of the phase is transferred to the deposited material. Transmission electron microscopy confirms the expected nanostructure of the films, whilst transmission and grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering analysis confirms biaxial, in plane alignment of the pore structure. In addition further electrochemical studies in dilute sulfuric acid and methanol show that the pores are accessible to electrolyte solution as indicated by a large current flow; the modified electrode therefore has a high surface area, that catalyses methanol oxidation, and the pores have a very large aspect ratio (of theoretical maximum 2 × 105). Films with such aligned mesoporosity will advance the field of nanotechnology where the control of pore structure is paramount. The method reported is sufficiently generic to be used to control the structure and order of many materials, thus increasing the potential for the development of a wide range of novel electronic and optical devices.
Asghar, K. A., Elliott, J. M., & Squires, A. M. (2012). 2D hexagonal mesoporous platinum films exhibiting biaxial, in-plane pore alignment. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22(26), 13311-13317. https://doi.org/10.1039/c2jm31731a