Delineating the first few seconds of supramolecular self-assembly of mesostructured titanium oxide thin films through time-resolved small angle x-ray scattering

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Date
2008-10-07
Authors
Luca, V
Bertram, WK
Sizgek, GD
Yang, B
Cookson, DJ
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Abstract
The early stages of evaporation induced self-assembly of titanium oxide mesophases from a precursor solution containing TiCl4 and the Pluronic triblock copolymer F-127 in HCl-water-ethanol solution have been studied using time-resolved SAXS techniques. Two experimental protocols were used to conduct these experiments. In one of these, the precursor solution was pumped around a closed loop as solvent was allowed to evaporate at a constant humidity-controlled rate. In the second protocol, a film of precursor solution was measured periodically as it dried completely to a residue under a stream of dry air. This permitted the detailed monitoring of changes in solution chemistry as a function of the elimination of volatile components followed by the actual drying process itself. The SAXS data were modeled in terms of two Guinier radii for soft nanoparticles while a broad Gaussian feature in the scatter profiles was accounted for by particle-article scattering interference due to close packing. For the initial precursor solution, one Guinier radius was found to be about 17 (A) over circle while the other ranged from 4 to 11 (A) over circle. Changing the rate of evaporation affected the two radii differently with a more pronounced effect on the smaller particle size range. Analysis gave an interparticle distance in the range 55-80 (A) over circle for the initial precursor solution which decreased steadily at both of the humidities investigated as evaporation proceeded and the particle packing increased. These results represent the first attempts to monitor in a precise fashion the growth of nano building blocks during the initial stages of the self-assembly process of a titanium oxide mesophase. © 2008, American Chemical Society
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Keywords
Titanium oxides, Thin films, Small angle scattering, Evaporation, Surfactants, Spectroscopy
Citation
Luca, V., Bertram, W. K., Sizgek, G. D., Yang, B., & Cookson, D. (2008). Delineating the first few seconds of supramolecular self-assembly of mesostructured titanium oxide thin films through time-resolved small angle x-ray scattering. Langmuir, 24(19), 10737-10745. doi:10.1021/la801488b
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