Ordered Mesoporous In2O3: Synthesis by Structure Replication and Application as a Methane Gas Sensor



The synthesis and characterization of ordered mesoporous In2O3 materials by structure replication from hexagonal mesoporous SBA-15 silica and cubic KIT-6 silica is presented. Variation of the synthesis parameters allows for different pore sizes and pore wall thicknesses in the products. The In2O3 samples turn out to be stable up to temperatures between 450 °C and 650 °C; such high thermal stability is necessary for their application as gas sensors. Test measurements show a high sensitivity to methane gas in concentrations relevant for explosion prevention. The sensitivity is shown to be correlated not only with the surface-to-volume ratio, but also with the nanoscopic structural properties of the materials.