Gravure printing for mesoporous film preparation†
This study presents gravure printing as a new strategy for rapid printing of ceramic mesoporous films and highlights its advantages over conventional mesoporous film preparation using evaporation induced self-assembly together with dip-coating. By varying the printing process parameters, the mesoporous coating thicknesses can be adjusted between 20 and 200 nm while maintaining a very high film homogeneity allowing the printing of ultrathin mesoporous films. Step gradients in film composition are accessible by consecutively printing two different “inks”. Thereby, gravure printing is a much faster process than mesoporous single- and multilayer preparation using conventional dip-coating because lower amounts of solution are transferred and dissolution of previously deposited layers is avoided. The effect of printing process parameters on resulting film characteristics as well as the resulting mesoporous film's ionic accessibility is systematically investigated.