The synthesis of inorganic mesoporous materials using surfactant template molecules has been reported by the several research groups. Surfactants organize silica into a variety of mesoporous forms resulting from electrostatic, hydrogen-bonding, covalent and Van der Waals interactions. We have applied magnetic field to align the mesoporous materials. The AFM analysis to the side of a broken piece of the mesoporous disc showed vertical cylinders having diameters of 30-32 nm (Figure 1). This alignment is due to the applied magnetic field and favorable composition of reactants and pH. The alignments of the mesoporous materials have also been reported by others, but for the first time we have seen such a large scale organization as observed by the direct visual technique, like AFM. The small angle x-ray diffraction reveals the presence of the cubic phase. This process may provide an economical method for making mesoporous silica nanotubes.
Chittaranjan P. Singh
Nano Interface Technology, Inc.
8390A Terminal Road
Lorton, VA 22079-1422 USA