APL Materials, 2014, vol 2, 11, pp. 113305
We present a protocol for a facile orientation specific deposition of plate-like mesoporous SBA-15 silica particles onto a surface (mesopores oriented normal to surface). A drop of an aqueous dispersion of particles is placed on the surface and water vaporizes under controlled relative humidity. Three requirements are essential for uniform coverage: particle dispersion should not contain aggregates, a weak attraction between particles and surface is needed, and evaporation rate should be low. Aggregates are removed by stirring/sonication. Weak attraction is realized by introducing cationic groups to the surface. Insight into the mechanisms of the so-called coffee stain effect is also provided.