Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type





Chemical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen E. Rankin


This dissertation mainly addresses the synthesis of well-ordered mesoporous titania thin films by dip coating with PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymer surfactant template P123. Because P123 is composed of poly(ethylene oxide) [PEO] and poly(propylene oxide) [PPO] blocks, concentrations of ingredients are adjusted to tune the films’ wall thickness, pore size and mesophase. Structural changes are consistent with partitioning of species among PEO blocks, PPO blocks, and the PEO/PPO interface. Titanates localize near PEO and increase wall thickness (by 5 nm to 7 nm). Depending on aging temperature, PPG either swells the PPO cores (when it is hydrophobic) or introduces large (>200 nm) voids (when it is hydrophilic but phase separates during heating). 1-butanol localizes at the PEO/PPO interface to favor a 3D hexagonal mesostructure.

In another approach, anodizing Ti foils yields vertically aligned titania nanotubes arrays with exceptional stabilities as anodes in lithium ion batteries; they maintain capacities of 130-230 mAhg-1 over 200 cycles. No microstructural changes are induced by battery cycling and good electrical contact is maintained. A diffusion induced stress model suggests that thin-walled nanotubes arrays should be stable under testing conditions, and that ordered hexagonal columnar pore arrays should have both high charge/discharge rates and low stress development.