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Structural Characterization of Mesoporous Thin Film Architectures: A Tutorial Overview

Alvarez-Fernandez, A; Reid, B; Fornerod, MJ; Taylor, A; Divitini, G; Guldin, S; (2020) Structural Characterization of Mesoporous Thin Film Architectures: A Tutorial Overview. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces , 12 (5) pp. 5195-5208. 10.1021/acsami.9b17899. Green open access

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Abstract

Mesoporous thin film architectures are an important class of materials that exhibit unique properties, which include high surface area, versatile surface functionalization, and bicontinuous percolation paths through a broad library of pore arrangements on the 10 nm length scale. Although porosimetry of bulk materials via sorption techniques is common practice, the characterization of thin mesoporous films with small sample volumes remains a challenge. A range of techniques are geared toward providing information over pore morphology, pore size distribution, surface area and overall porosity, but none of them offers a holistic evaluation and results are at times inconsistent. In this work, we present a tutorial overview for the reliable structural characterization of mesoporous films. Three model samples with variable pore size and porosity prepared by block copolymer (BCP) coassembly serve for a rational comparison. Various techniques are assessed side-by-side, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS), and ellipsometric porosimetry (EP). We critically discuss advantages and limitations of each technique and provide guidelines for reliable implementation.

Type: Article
Title: Structural Characterization of Mesoporous Thin Film Architectures: A Tutorial Overview
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b17899
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b17899
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: mesoporous characterization ellipsometric porosimetry AFM SEM GISAXS thin film structure
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090801
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