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Materials 2013, 6(4), 1467-1484; doi:10.3390/ma6041467
Article

Organized Silica Films Generated by Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly as Hosts for Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

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 and
1,*
1 Department of Chemistry, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus 2 Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Graz University of Technology, Stremayergasse 9/4, 8010 Graz, Austria 3 Institute of Advanced Materials, Physicochemical Processes, Nanotechnology and Microsystems (IAMPPNM), Division of Physical Chemistry, National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos", Aghia Paraskevi Attikis, Athens 153 10, Greece 4 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, P.O. Box 1414, Patras 265 00, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2013 / Accepted: 27 March 2013 / Published: 9 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sol-gel Derived Materials)
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Abstract

In this work, we prepared oriented mesoporous thin films of silica on various solid substrates using the pluronic block copolymer P123 as a template. We attempted to insert guest iron oxide (FexOy) nanoparticles into these films by two different methods: (a) by co-precipitation—where iron precursors are introduced in the synthesis sol before deposition of the silica film—and subsequent oxide production during the film calcination step; (b) by preparing and calcining the silica films first then impregnating them with the iron precursor, obtaining the iron oxide nanoparticles by a second calcination step. We have examined the structural effects of the guest nanoparticles on the silica film structures using grazing incidence X-ray scattering (GISAXS), high-resolution transmission electron spectroscopy (HRTEM), spectroscopic ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Raman microscopy. Formation of nanoparticles by co-precipitation may induce substantial changes in the film structure leading, in our adopted process, to the appearance of lamellar ordering in the calcination stage. On the contrary, impregnation-based approaches perturb the film structures much more weakly, but are also less efficient in filling the pores with nanoparticles.
Keywords: oriented mesoporous silica films; grazing incidence X-ray scattering (GISAXS); iron oxide nanoparticles; impregnation; co-precipitation oriented mesoporous silica films; grazing incidence X-ray scattering (GISAXS); iron oxide nanoparticles; impregnation; co-precipitation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Andreou, I.; Amenitsch, H.; Likodimos, V.; Falaras, P.; Koutsoukos, P.G.; Leontidis, E. Organized Silica Films Generated by Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly as Hosts for Iron Oxide Nanoparticles. Materials 2013, 6, 1467-1484.

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