High Surface Area Materials
High surface area materials serve as catalysts or supports for active species. There are typically synthesized via precipitation, sol-gel processing, or flame processes. “Exotemplating” is a versatile alternative, e.g., using porous carbon matrices as hard templates. The pores of the carbon matrix are filled with concentrated salt solution. Subsequent combustion of the carbon matrix converts the metal salt into the oxide. The particle size of the oxide is determined by the pore size of the carbon. High surface area oxides synthesized from activated carbon are typically obtained as fine powders or particles that adopt the shape of the parent carbon. Using carbon aerogel monoliths as exotemplate, alumina with remarkable textural properties (X-ray amorphous, surface area 300 m2/g, volume > 1.5 mL/g) can be synthesized.