Controllable synthesis of porous tubular carbon by a Ag+-ligand-assisted Stöber-silica/carbon assembly process†
Herein, in this study, we utilized Ag+-ligand interactions for critically regulating the morphology of carbon by the Stöber-silica/carbon co-assembly method for the first time. Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and resorcinol/formaldehyde (RF) assemble upon dictation by Ag+ and pyridyl-functionalized surfactants, producing porous carbon tubes (RF1) with a high surface area of 696 m2 g−1 and accessible mesopores ∼15 nm in size. Furthermore, when using tetrapropyl orthosilicate (TPOS) with a slower hydrolysis rate than that of TEOS, carbon tubes (RF2) with enhanced uniformity and a surface area as high as 2112 m2 g−1 are generated. Additionally, when using dopamine hydrochloride instead of RF as a carbon precursor, tubular polydopamine (TDA) with lengths of tens of microns is fabricated, which exhibits excellent catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction reactions in alkaline solutions due to its unique structural feature, a high surface area of 1350 m2 g−1, metallic silver remains of 8.3 wt%, and a rich nitrogen content of 3.6 wt%. This work sheds light on the engineering of a micellar soft template and synthesizing novel nanostructures by the extension of the Stöber method.