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One-Pot Synthesis of Hierarchically Structured Metal Oxides

Sikander H. Hakim and Brent H. Shanks. Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University, 2114 Sweeney Hall, Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Ames, IA 50011

The nanostructural design of materials is attracting increasing attention in the development of improved catalysts. Recently our group reported the unprecedented one-pot synthesis of hierarchically structured alumina. These unique structures incorporate pores at two different length scales. The smaller mesopores provide high surface area which is critical for the catalytic performance of the material, while the larger macropores render the mesopores more accessible and thereby reduce diffusion resistance. Hence, the synthesis and understanding of the formation of these materials is both fundamentally and practically very relevant. Presented will be work focused on obtaining hierarchical structures for different metal oxide materials and the investigation of various parameters and properties to better understand their formation. Results from experiments in which the hydrolysis and condensation chemistry involved in the formation of the materials are varied will demonstrate their strong influence on the morphology and textural properties of the resulting metal oxide powders.