Control of Molecular Transport Through Stimuli-Responsive Ordered Mesoporous Materials


  • This work was made possible through funding from the Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, Air Force Office for Scientific Research, and the Department of Energy through the US/Mexico Materials Corridor Initiative. Q. Xu and Dr. H. Xu are acknowledged for their technical assistance.


External and reversible control of the size and surface energy of the pores in mesoporous architectures has been achieved. The method involves modification of mesoporous silica by atom transfer radical polymerization of N-isopropyl acrylamide (the precursor to a stimuli- responsive polymer). The resulting polymer-grafted particles allow the adsorption and transport of molecular species to be dynamically controlled as illustrated in the Figure for the release of rhodamine 6G from the particles at 50 °C.