Skip to main content

Low-n mesoporous silica films: structure and properties


The properties and structure of mesoporous silica films are investigated. Because of their extremely low refractive index (n=1.14), these films are interesting optical waveguide supports. The films have been synthesized by a template-modified sol–gel process using the triblock copolymer Pluronic P123. A significant dependence of the formed structure on the processing conditions has been revealed, allowing an appreciable structure tuning. One set of processing conditions allows the reproducible synthesis of low-n films. They are optically clear, mechanically and chemically resistant, extremely smooth, and sufficiently thick (1 μm). Under other processing conditions a novel mesoporous layer structure was synthesized that has very large and well-defined nanoscopic voids.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. C.T. Kresge, M.E. Leonowicz, W.J. Roth, J.C. Vartuli, J.S. Beck: Nature 359, 710 (1992)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. U. Ciesla, F. Schüth: Microporous Mesoporous Mater. 27, 131 (1999)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. J.S. Beck, J.C. Vartuli, W.J. Roth, M.E. Leonowicz, C.T. Kresge, K.D. Schmitt, C.T.-W. Chu, D.H. Olson, E.W. Sheppard, S.B. McCullen, J.B. Higgins, J.L. Schlenker: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 114, 10834 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. A. Monnier, F. Schüth, Q. Huo, D. Kumar, D. Margolese, R.S. Maxwell, G.D. Stucky, M. Krishnamurty, P. Petroff, A. Firouzi, M. Janicke, B.F. Chmelka: Science 261, 1299 (1993)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. D. Zhao, J. Feng, Q. Huo, N. Melosh, G.H. Frederickson, B. F Chmelka, G.D. Stucky: Science 279, 548 (1998)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. F. Schüth, W. Schmidt: Adv. Mater. 14, 629 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. M. Ogawa: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 116, 7941 (1994)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Y. Lu, R. Ganguli, C.A. Drewien, M.T. Anderson, J.C. Brinker, W. Gong, Y. Guo, H. Soyez, B. Dunn, M.H. Huang, J.I. Zink: Nature 389, 364 (1997)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. For a review see e.g.: D. Grosso, F. Carnol, G. Soler-Illia, E.L. Crepaldi, H. Amenitsch, A. Brunet-Bruneau, A. Bourgeois, C. Sanchez: Adv. Funct. Mater. 14, 309 (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  10. D. Zhao, P. Yang, N. Melosh, J. Feng, B.F. Chmelka, G.D. Stucky: Adv. Mater 10, 1380 (1998)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. P.C.A. Alberius, K.L. Frindell, R. C Hayward, E. J Kramer, G.D. Stucky, B. F Chmelka: Chem. Mater. 14, 3284 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. M. Schmidt, G. Boettger, M. Eich, W. Morgenroth, U. Huebner, H.G. Meyer, D. Konjhodzic, H. Bretinger, F. Marlow: Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 16 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ch. Striebel, K. Hoffmann, F. Marlow: Microp. Materials 9, 43 (1997)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. See e.g.: K. Iizuka: Elements of Photonics, Vol. II (Wiley-Interscience 2002)

  15. M. Klotz, P.-A. Albouy, A. Ayral, C. Ménager, D. Grosso, A. Van der Lee, V. Cabuil, F. Babonneau, C. Guizard: Chem. Mater. 12, 1721 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Y. Wang, R. Song, Y. Li, J. Shen: Surf. Sci. 530, 136 (2003)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. J.P. Cleveland, B. Anczykowski, A.E. Schmid, V.B. Elings: Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 2613 (1998)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. B. Anczykowski, B. Gotsmann, H. Fuchs, J.P. Cleveland, V.B. Elings: Appl. Surf. Sci. 140, 376 (1999)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. P.J. James, M. Antognozzi, J. Tamayo, T.J. McMaster, J.M. Newton, M.J. Miles: Langmuir 17, 349 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. S.S. Kim, W. Zhang, T.J. Pinnavaia: Science 282, 302 (1998)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. P. Holmquist, P. Alexandridis, B. Lindman: J. Phys. Chem. B 102, 1149 (1998)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to F. Marlow.

Additional information


61.30.Pa; 68.37.Ps; 78.20.Ci

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Konjhodzic, D., Bretinger, H., Wilczok, U. et al. Low-n mesoporous silica films: structure and properties. Appl. Phys. A 81, 425–432 (2005).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Thin Film
  • Refractive Index
  • Operating Procedure
  • Electronic Material
  • Processing Condition