Evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) is widely used as a method to produce uniform, mesoporous structures. However, it is both time-consuming and produces relatively low yields due to the need for a large substrate area to obtain optimal results. Herein we report the use of sucrose or KCl as sacrificial layers in the synthesis of mesoporous carbon through EISA. Even though this procedure introduces an additional synthesis step, it increases the obtained yield of carbon up to twofold, eliminates the need for tedious mechanical removal of the film from the substrate, significantly cuts down on the active processing time, and makes it easier to obtain extended self-supporting films compared to conventional methods. The carbon products were studied using gas sorption, small-angle X-ray scattering, and transmission electron microscopy, and no significant differences were observed for products grown on either sacrificial layer compared to a product grown directly on glass substrates.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) and in part by the MRSEC program of the NSF (DMR-0819885). Portions of this work were carried out in the University of Minnesota Characterization Facility, which receives partial support from the NSF through the MRSEC, ERC, MRI, and NNIN programs. The authors would like to thank Professor Lodge, Sipei Zhang, and Yuanyan Gu for their assistance in synthesizing the PS-PEO polymers.
- Mesoporous carbon
- Sacrificial layer
- Thin film