A method was developed for the production of macroporous oxide materials by using the droplets of a nonaqueous emulsion as the templates around which material is deposited through a sol-gel process. Moreover, uniform pores arranged in regular arrays can be obtained by starting with an emulsion of uniform droplets. These droplets first self-assemble into a colloidal crystal after which gelation of the suspending sol-gel mixture captures the ordered structure. After drying and calcination pellets are obtained which contain ordered arrays of spherical pores left behind by the emulsion droplets. The method can be used to make uniform pores in the range from 0.05–5 micrometers in many different materials. We demonstrate the process for titania, silica, and zirconia.
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