Toward Scalable Fabrication of Hierarchical Silica Capsules with Integrated Micro-, Meso-, and Macropores

Weizheng Zhou, Gangsheng Tong, Dali Wang, Bangshang Zhu, Yu Ren, Michael Butler, Eddie Pelan, Deyue Yan, Xinyuan Zhu*, Simeon D. Stoyanov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Hierarchical porous structures are ubiquitous in biological organisms and inorganic systems. Although such structures have been replicated, designed, and fabricated, they are often inferior to naturally occurring analogues. Apart from the complexity and multiple functionalities developed by the biological systems, the controllable and scalable production of hierarchically porous structures and building blocks remains a technological challenge. Herein, a facile and scalable approach is developed to fabricate hierarchical hollow spheres with integrated micro-, meso-, and macropores ranging from 1 nm to 100 μm (spanning five orders of magnitude). (Macro)molecules, micro-rods (which play a key role for the creation of robust capsules), and emulsion droplets have been successfully employed as multiple length scale templates, allowing the creation of hierarchical porous macrospheres. Thanks to their specific mechanical strength, these hierarchical porous spheres could be incorporated and assembled as higher level building blocks in various novel materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1805
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Hierarchical materials
  • Multi-templating
  • Pickering emulsions
  • Porous structures
  • Silica capsules


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