A method for synthesizing composites with architectural control on the nanometer scale is described. A polymerizable lyotropic liquid-crystalline monomer is used to form an inverse hexagonal phase in the presence of a second polymer precursor solution. The monomer system acts as an organic template, providing the underlying matrix and order of the composite system. Polymerization of the template in the presence of an optional cross-linking agent with retention of the liquid-crystalline order is carried out followed by a second polymerization of the second polymer precursor within the channels of the polymer template to provide an ordered nanocomposite material.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DMR-9625433 awarded by the National Science Foundation and Contract No. N00014-96-1-0844 awarded by the Office of Naval Research, and Grant Number DE-AC03-76SF00098 from the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.