Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 479–492 | Cite as

Preparation of mesoporous crack-free Sb-SnO2 xerogels through ambient-pressure drying and its application as three-dimensional electrode

  • Siqi Liu
  • Xiezhen Zhou
  • Weiqing Han
  • Jiansheng Li
  • Xiuyun Sun
  • Jinyou Shen
  • Lianjun Wang
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for catalytic, photoelectrochemical and sensor applications


Ambient-pressure-dried (APD) crack-free Sb-SnO2 xerogel has been developed through a facile sol-gel approach. Propylene oxide was added into the tin and antimony precursors to cause rapid formation of the wet gel, which was then modified with silica and dried under ambient pressure. A silica modification carried out by soaking the wet gel in TEOS/ethanol solution, in combination with solvent exchange, allowed to avoid the risky and costly supercritical drying (SCD) process. The silica possessed dual-functional effects during the synthesis process as surface silylation agent and underlying silica structure. FT-IR, SAXS, TEM, and nitrogen physisorption analysis revealed a favorable silica dispersion, outstanding specific surface area (254 m2 g−1), pore volume (0.52 cm3 g−1), and ideal pore size (8.75 nm) for the products. The key properties of the APD crack-free Sb-SnO2 xerogel were compared with that of SCD aerogel at the same synthesis conditions. Finally, the electrochemical behaviors of 3D electrochemical system filled with the as-synthesized materials as particle electrodes were investigated, which with regard to voltammetric charge and polarization impedance. Padding of the crack-free Sb-SnO2 xerogels yielded a voltammetric charge 2.99 times as large as that of conventional electrochemical system, and decreased the charge transfer resistance from 46.19 to 6.39 Ω, which realize intrinsically enhanced electrochemical performance for 3D electrochemical system.


Crack-free xerogles Silica modification Ambient-pressure drying Porous electrodes Three-dimensional electrod 



This work was partially supported by National Science Technology Support Plan of China (2014BAC08B03), Natural Science Foundation of China (51578287).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Jiangsu Province for Chemical Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of Environmental and Biological EngineeringNanjing University of Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

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