Block polymer structure-directing agents (SDA) enable the production of porous nanoscale materials. Most strategies rely upon polymer equilibration where diverse morphologies are realized in porous functional materials. This review details how solvent selectivity determines the polymer SDA behaviors, spanning from bulk-type to solution-type. Equilibrating behavior of either type, however, obscures nanostructure cause-and-effect since the resulting sample series convolve multiple spatial variations. Solution-type SDA behaviors include both dynamic and persistent micelles. Persistent micelle templates (PMT) use high solvent selectivity for kinetic entrapment. PMTs enable independent wall thickness control with demonstrated 2 Å precision alterations. Unimodal PMT pore size distributions have spanned from 11.8 to 109 nm and multimodal pore sizes up to 290 nm. The PMT method is simple to validate with diffraction models and is feasible in any laboratory. Finally, recent energy device publications enabled by PMT are reviewed where tailored nanomaterials provide a unique perspective to unambiguously identify nanostructure–property–performance relationships.
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Published in Journal of Materials Research, Volume 37, 2021, pages 25-42.
© The Author(s) 2021
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Stefik, M. (2021). Single-variable porous nanomaterial series from polymer structure-directing agents. Journal of Materials Research, 37(1), 25–42. https://doi.org/10.1557/s43578-021-00421-0