In this work, we report the soft-templated preparation of mesoporous nickel oxide using an asymmetric poly(styrene-block-acrylic acid-block-ethylene glycol) (PS-b-PAA-b-PEG) triblock copolymer. This block copolymer forms a micelle consisting of a PS core, a PAA shell and a PEG corona in aqueous solutions, which can serve as a soft template. Specifically, the PS block forms the core of the micelles on the basis of its lower solubility in water. The anionic PAA block interacts with the cationic Ni 2+ ions present in the solution to generate the shell. The PEG block forms the corona of the micelles and stabilizes the micelles by preventing secondary aggregation through steric repulsion between the PEG chains. In terms of textural characteristics, the as-synthesized mesoporous NiO exhibits a large average pore size of 35 nm with large specific surface area and pore volume of 97.0 m 2 g −1 and 0.411 cm 3 g −1 , respectively. It is expected that the proposed soft-templated strategy can be expanded to other metal oxides/sulfides in the future for potential applications in gas sensors, catalysis, energy storage and conversion, optoelectronics, and biomedical applications.
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