Document Type



Porous nanoscale carbonaceous materials are widely employed for catalysis, separations, and electrochemical devices where device performance often relies upon specific and well-defined regular feature sizes. The use of block polymers as templates has enabled affordable and scalable production of diverse porous carbons. However, popular carbon preparations use equilibrating micelles which can change dimensions in response to the processing environment. Thus, polymer methods have not yet demonstrated carbon nanomaterials with constant average template diameter and tailored wall thickness. In contrast, persistent micelle templates (PMTs) use kinetic control to preserve constant micelle template diameters, and thus PMT has enabled constant pore diameter metrics. With PMT, the wall thickness is independently adjustable via the amount of material precursor added to the micelle templates. Previous PMT demonstrations relied upon thermodynamic barriers to inhibit chain exchange while in solution, followed by rapid evaporation and cross-linking of material precursors to mitigate micelle reorganization once the solvent evaporated. It is shown here that this approach, however, fails to deliver kinetic micelle control when used with slowly cross-linking material precursors such as those for porous carbons. A new modality for kinetic control over micelle templates, glassy-PMTs, is shown using an immobilized glassy micelle core composed of polystyrene (PS). Although PS based polymers have been used to template carbon materials before, all prior reports included plasticizers that prevented kinetic micelle control. Here the key synthetic conditions for carbon materials with glassy-PMT control are enumerated, including dependencies upon polymer block selection, block molecular mass, solvent selection, and micelle processing timeline. The use of glassy-PMTs also enables the direct observation of micelle cores by TEM which are shown to be commensurate with template dimensions. Glassy-PMTs are thus robust and insensitive to material processing kinetics, broadly enabling tailored nanomaterials with diverse chemistries.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Williams, E. R., McMahon, P. L., Reynolds, J. E., Snider, J. L., Stavila, V., Allendorf, M. D., & Stefik, M. (2021). Tailored porous carbons enabled by persistent micelles with glassy cores. Materials Advances, 2(16), 5381–5395.


© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2021 Open Access Article. Published on 01 June 2021.This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence.