Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 296, Issue 11, pp 1805–1816 | Cite as

Synthesis of nanoporous organic/inorganic hybrid materials with adjustable pore size

  • Y. Qawasmi
  • P. Atanasova
  • T. Jahnke
  • Z. Burghard
  • A. Müller
  • L. Grassberger
  • R. Strey
  • J. Bill
  • T. SottmannEmail author
Original Contribution


Polystyrene (PS) nanofoams, prepared following the nanofoams continuity inversion of dispersions (NF-CID) principle, were utilized for the synthesis of nanoporous organic/inorganic hybrid materials. The pore size and morphology of the PS foams were found to depend on the NF-CID parameters: temperature, exposure time, and the expansion process. With this knowledge, PS foams with a pore size of 1 μm were mineralized with ZnO from a methanol precursor solution comprising zinc acetate dihydrate. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) was used to characterize both the pure PS nanofoam and the hybrid material. The formation of a ZnO layer on the pore walls of the polymer foams was confirmed, while the general structure of the foam was retained. Uniaxial compression measurements revealed larger values of the E modulus and the yield stress for the porous PS/ZnO hybrid material compared to the pure polymer foam.

Graphical abstract


Supercritical carbon dioxide Mineralization Polystyrene nanofoams Organic/inorganic hybrid materials Hard template 



The authors thank Herbert Metzner (Workshop, University of Cologne, Germany) as well as Boris Tschertsche and Daniel Relovsky (Workshop, University Stuttgart, Germany) for the development and maintenance of the HP cells, respectively, as well as the scientific facility Nanostrukturlabor of J. Weis and the department of J. Spatz from the Max Planck Institutes in Stuttgart, Germany for their technical support and equipment access. Furthermore, Yaseen Qawasmi is grateful to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Qawasmi
    • 1
  • P. Atanasova
    • 2
  • T. Jahnke
    • 2
  • Z. Burghard
    • 2
  • A. Müller
    • 3
  • L. Grassberger
    • 3
  • R. Strey
    • 3
  • J. Bill
    • 2
  • T. Sottmann
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Physical ChemistryUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Materials ScienceUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Physical ChemistryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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