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Mesostructured Silica Containing Conjugated Polymers Formed within the Channels of Anodic Alumina Membranes from Tetrahydrofuran-Based Solution

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journal contribution
posted on 17.01.2012, 00:00 by Avigail Keller, Saar Kirmayer, Tamar Segal-Peretz, Gitti L. Frey
The synthesis of mesostructured silica from a tetrahydrofuran (THF)-based sol gel was carried out in the channels of an anodic alumina membrane (AAM) using the evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) method. Two different nonionic surfactants were used as structure-directing agents, the triblock copolymer Pluronic P123 and the oligomer surfactant Brij56. The effect of the relative humidity and surfactant concentration on the type of mesophase and orientation of the in-channel mesostructures was studied using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and grazing incidence small angel X-ray scattering (GISAXS). The in-channel structures obtained in this study were primarily of the 2D hexagonal phase with a circular orientation in which the hexagonally packed cylinders form a spiral-like shape from the channel wall inward. In addition, a columnar orientation of the hexagonal phase, in which the axes of the hexagonally packed cylinders are oriented parallel to the channel axes, was also observed. Finally, the use of the THF-based synthesis allowed the in situ incorporation of the highly hydrophobic yellow-emitting conjugated polymer poly­[9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole] into the in-channel mesostructure upon its formation. The conjugated polymer was well distributed within the mesostructure and maintained its optical properties.