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Nanoscale. 2010 Oct;2(10):2054-7.

Crystalline nanoporous metal oxide thin films by post-synthetic hydrothermal transformation: SnO2 and TiO2.

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  • 1Lab of Functional Polymer Materials, College of Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin, People's Republic of China.


Nanostructured and nanoporous metal oxide thin films are rarely accessible by standard synthetic approaches but highly desired for many applications, e.g. as electrodes, transparent conducting coatings, sensors or surface catalysts. Template based sol–gel chemistry combined with post-synthetic hydrothermal treatment allows now the synthesis of nanocrystalline mesostructured porous thin films of metal oxides, e.g. tin oxide and titania. Even in cases where the crystallization cannot be induced highly stable thin films can be achieved, e.g. niobium oxide thin films. We demonstrate how the size of the nanocrystallites influences and stabilizes the mesostructure at temperatures as low as 100 C and thereby in the case of titania or tin dioxide even prevents it from deterioration at higher temperatures up to 400–600 C.

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