Sol–gel synthesis of monolithic materials with hierarchical porosity
The development of synthetic routes to hierarchically organized porous materials containing multiple, discrete sets of pores having disparate length scales is of high interest for a wide range of applications. One possible route towards the formation of multilevel porous architectures relies on the processing of condensable, network forming precursors (sol–gel processes) in the presence of molecular porogens, lyotropic mesophases, supramolecular architectures, emulsions, organic polymers, or ice. In this review the focus is on sol–gel processing of inorganic and organic precursors with concurrently occurring microscopic and/or macroscopic phase separation for the formation of self-supporting monoliths. The potential and the limitations of the solution-based approaches is presented with special emphasis to recent examples of hierarchically organized silica, metal oxides and phosphates as well as carbon monoliths.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Hierarchically-structured porous materials: from basic understanding to applications