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Sol–Gel Synthesis of Spherical Mesoporous High-Entropy Oxides

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journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2020, 03:14 by Gen Wang, Jing Qin, Youyou Feng, Bingxi Feng, Shengjiong Yang, Zheng Wang, Yongxi Zhao, Jing Wei
High-entropy oxides (HEOs) have attracted increasing interest owing to their unique structures and fascinating physicochemical properties. Spherical mesoporous HEOs further inherit the advantages of spherical mesoporous materials including high surface area and tunable pore size. However, it is still a huge challenge to construct HEOs with uniform spheres and a mesoporous framework. Herein, a wet-chemistry sol–gel strategy is demonstrated for the synthesis of spherical mesoporous HEOs (e.g., Ni–Co–Cr–Fe–Mn oxide) with high specific surface area (42–143 m2/g), large pore size (5.5–8.3 nm), unique spherical morphology (∼55 nm), and spinel structure without any impure crystal phase using polyphenol as a polymerizable ligand. The metal/polyphenol–formaldehyde resin colloidal spheres are first synthesized via a sol–gel process. Because of their abundant catechol groups and strong chelating ability with different metal species, polyphenols can not only accommodate five different metal ions in their networks but also be well polymerized by formaldehyde to form colloidal spheres. After calcination, the metal species aggregate together to form HEOs, while the organic resin is fully decomposed to produce mesopores. Because of the open framework with accessible mesopores, they could be used as a peroxymonosulfate catalyst for degradation of organic pollutants and a nanoplatform for efficient detection of DNA. This work demonstrates a straightforward sol–gel strategy for design and synthesis of spherical mesoporous high-entropy materials, which would promote the exploration of new properties of high-entropy materials and extend their application.