Complete shape retention in the transformation of silica to polymer micro-objects

Piero Sozzani, Silvia Bracco, Angiolina Comotti, Roberto Simonutti, Patrizia Valsesia, Yasuhiro Sakamoto, Osamu Terasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The fabrication of individual plastic micro-objects that follow an elaborate design and are copies of nanoporous inorganic morphotypes was investigated. The key feature of this approach was 'precision shape transfer polymerization', from individual objects of MCM-41 mesoporous silica to hybrid nanocomposites of identical shape and, plastic micrometre-sized objects. It was observed that the systematic variation of silica-precursor concentration, pH and surfactant nature, enabled the formation of controlled shapes such as gyroidal, cylindrical and tubular. It was shown using TEM images of the nanocomposite and of silica, that the original periodic structure of silica was retained and that the polymer was formed within silica mesopores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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