• composite Materials;
  • hybrid Materials;
  • nanoparticles;
  • porous materials;
  • zeolites


Composite films with low dielectric constants (k) containing micro- and mesopores are synthesized from precursor solutions for the preparation of mesoporous silica and ethanolic suspensions of silicalite-1 nanoparticles. The material contains silicalite-1 nanoparticles (include nanocrystals and nanoslabs/intermediates) embedded in a randomly oriented matrix of highly porous mesoporous silica. Micropores result from the incorporated silicalite-1 nanoparticles, while decomposition of the porogen F127 leads to additional mesopores. The porosity of the composite films increases from 9 to 60% with the increase in porogen loading, while in parallel the elastic modulus and hardness decrease. The elastic moduli of the films are in the range of 13–20 GPa. Hydrophobic surfaces of the composite films are obtained by introducing methyl triethoxysilane during the preparation of both precursor solutions, leading to the incorporation of [BOND]CH3 groups in the final composite films. These methyl groups are stable up to at least 500 °C. A low k value of approximately 2 is observed for films cured at 400 °C in N2 flow, which is ideal for removing templates without decomposing methyl groups. Due to the intrinsic hydrophobicity of the material, post-silylation is not required rendering the composite films attractive candidates for future low k materials.