High-temperature structural stability of ceria-based inverse opals

Danielle C. Casillas, Dan C. Wilkinson, Chun Han Lai, Stephen K. Wilke, Michael J. Ignatowich, Sossina M. Haile, Bruce S. Dunn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The use of ceria-based inverse opals as a catalyst system for the thermochemical production of fuels from sunlight offers the potential of improved fuel production kinetics over materials with random porosity. Quantitative methods for characterizing ordered porosity are lacking, thus limiting the ability to predict the lifetime of ordered structures at elevated temperatures. In the present work, Fourier transform image analysis was used to determine the effect of composition and temperature on ordered porosity for a series of CeO2-ZrO2 inverse opals having pore sizes ranging from 300 nm to 1 μm. An order parameter, γ, derived from the image analysis, was applied to scanning electron microscopy images and used to determine the degree of order in the inverse opal. The thermal stability studies indicate that loss of ordered porosity is highly dependent on temperature and that gas cycling effects have a minor effect on periodicity. A minimum Zr content of 20 at.% is necessary to retain periodicity for annealing up to 1000°C with pore diameters larger than 1 μm. These results show that CeO2-ZrO2 inverse opals can be used at higher temperatures than previously thought for efficient thermochemical hydrogen production without loss of the benefits associated with ordered porosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2659-2668
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • catalysts/catalysis
  • ceria
  • inverse opal
  • thermal stability
  • zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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