Porous materials are fabricated using interpenetrating inorganic-organic composite gels. A mixture or precursor solution including an inorganic gel precursor, an organic polymer gel precursor, and a solvent is treated to form an inorganic wet gel including the organic polymer gel precursor and the solvent. The inorganic wet gel is then treated to form a composite wet gel including an organic polymer network in the body of the inorganic wet gel, producing an interpenetrating inorganic-organic composite gel. The composite wet gel is dried to form a composite material including the organic polymer network and an inorganic network component. The composite material can be treated further to form a porous composite material, a porous polymer or polymer composite, a porous metal oxide, and other porous materials.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This work was supported by the Center for Bio-Inspired Solar Fuel Production, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001016. The government has certain rights in the invention.