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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2010 May;2(5):1299-302. doi: 10.1021/am1001713.

Self-ordered anodic alumina with continuously tunable pore intervals from 410 to 530 nm.


We report a "mild anodization" (MA) process using aluminum oxalate (Alox) as an additive to suppress breakdown of porous anodic alumina (PAA) in the electrolyte of phosphoric acid at high potentials and comparatively high temperatures. It is shown for the first time that continuously tunable pore intervals (D(int)) from 410 to 530 nm with ordered hexagonal pore arrangement can be controlled by varying the concentrations of phosphoric acid and Alox at anodization voltages (U(a)) from 180 to 230 V, far beyond the U(a) in the single electrolyte of phosphoric acid or oxalic acid. The fabricated PAA films are uniform without any burning spots, and the anodization temperature can be increased to 10-20 degrees C with a much higher growth rate of PAA films than that at a low temperature. Meanwhile, a typical two-step anodization process could also be performed under our conditions. Our results could not only extend the applications of PAA templates but also facilitate understanding of the effects of anions in the process of anodic oxidation.

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