Solvothermal removal of the organic template from L 3 ("sponge") templated silica monoliths

Daniel M. Dabbs, Norbert Mulders, Ilhan A. Aksay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We compare the methods of continuous solvent (Soxhlet) and supercritical solvent extractions for the removal of the organic template from nanostructured silica monoliths. Our monoliths are formed by templating the L 3 liquid crystal phase of cetylpyridinium chloride in aqueous solutions with tetramethoxy silane. The monoliths that result from both Soxhlet and supercritical extraction methods are mechanically robust, optically clear, and free of cracks. The Soxhlet method compares favorably with supercritical solvent extraction in that equivalent L 3-templated silica can be synthesized without the use of specialized reactor hardware or higher temperatures and high pressures, while avoiding noxious byproducts. The comparative effectiveness of various solvents in the Soxhlet process is related to the Hildebrand solubility parameter, determined by the effective surface area of the extracted silica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Extraction
  • High surface area silica
  • Nanostructured ceramics
  • Supercritical solvent
  • Synthesis


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