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Evolution of structural dimensions in mesoporous template precursor from hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystals
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2020, 00:00 authored by Guang Wang, C J Garvey, Jane ZhangJane Zhang, Luke O'DellLuke O'Dell, A M Krause-Heuer, Maria ForsythMaria Forsyth, T A Darwish, S Miloš, Lingxue KongLingxue Kong
Producing nanopores from hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) templates requires not only retaining phase morphology of the templates but also precisely controlling structural dimensions of unit cells. In this study, SAXS and 2H NMR are used to investigate dimensional evolutions of ternary systems consisting of polymerizable species, (ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) and/or 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), in a LLCs template of hexagonally packed cylinders formed from dodecyl trimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and water. With the addition of those polymerizable species, the system rearranges into a new hexagonal system with a smaller aggregation number, smaller pores and a thicker pore wall thickness. The hexagonal system will coexist with an aqueous-rich phase containing isotropically distributed DTAB if sufficient PEGDA is applied but the single hexagonal system could be restored by partially replacing the PEGDA with HEMA. The mobility of DTAB molecules within the aggregates varies depending on monomer compositions. The changes in structural dimensions of the unit cells and phase behaviors after adding polymerizable monomers allow dimensional control of mesochannels and potentially enable the control of selectivity and robustness of polymerized nanomaterials via molecular design.