Instant synthesis of mesoporous monolithic materials with controllable geometry, dimension and stability: A review

Sherif A. El-Safty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The development of the nanoscale structures and their integration into components, systems, and natural architectures (such as monoliths), and large-scale devices, is one of the most promising areas in the emerging field of nanotechnology.We believe that it is time to write a review that focused on the rapid synthesis and the functional properties of HOM mesoporous monoliths. Thus, we here introduce comprehensive and up-to-date reports on the instant synthesis (within minutes) of a range of mesoporous silica monoliths (HOM-type, High-Order-Monolith) by means of a directlating method of lyotropic and microemulsion liquid crystalline phases. A number of nonionic n-alkyl-oligo(ethylene oxide), namely, Brij-type (CxEOy), and Triton- and Tween-type and cationic alkyl trimethylammonium bromide or chloride (CnTMA-B or -C, where n = 12, 14, 16 and 18) surfactants were used as soft templates. A variety of 1D, 2D and 3D mesostructure geometries were successfully fabricated by using this simple, fast and yet reproducible design strategy. This is the first and detailed review of using rapid synthesis to fabricate disordered and ordered silica/surfactant mesophases with supermicro- and meso-pore engineering systems. In this review, we also addressed the prominent factors affected the formation of the large-scale ordered and worm-like structures (HOM): (1) the phase composition of domains, (2) the extent of solubilization of hydrocarbons, and (3) the nature of surfactant molecules (corona/ core features). Significantly, due to large morphological particle sizes, these HOM monolithic structures exhibited considerable structural stability against longer hydrothermal treatment times. Such retention is crucial in industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-287
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Porous Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cationic and nonionic surfactants
  • HOM monoliths
  • Hydrothermal stability
  • Instant synthesis
  • Mesopores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Materials Science


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