Highly crystalline metal oxide-carbon composites, as precursors to thermally stable mesoporous metal oxides, are coated with a layer of amorphous carbon. Using a `one-pot` method, highly crystalline metal oxide-carbon composites are converted to thermally stable mesoporous metal oxides, having highly crystalline mesopore walls, without causing the concomitant collapse of the mesostructure. The `one-pot` method uses block copolymers with an sp or sp 2 hybridized carbon containing hydrophobic block as structure directing agents which converts to a sturdy, amorphous carbon material under appropriate heating conditions, providing an in-situ rigid support which maintains the pores of the oxides intact while crystallizing at temperatures as high as 1000 deg C. A highly crystalline metal oxide-carbon composite can be heated to produce a thermally stable mesoporous metal oxide consisting of a single polymorph.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The Department of Energy has certain rights in this invention pursuant to contract number DE-FG02 87ER45298 between the Department of Energy and Cornell University.