Aqueous emulsions of amines can be used as swelling agents, inducing up to a 3-fold enlargement of pores, at the cost of a decrease in ordering. Manipulation of temperature and acidity can also affect the size and even the shape of the pores creating gyroid rather than spherical mesopores.
Branched, 3D networks of pores can be synthesised by polymerisation of the silicate anions around micelles with organic salts at high temperatures this allows the porous system to become more resistant to blocking, leading to faster diffusion through the system.
Mesopores can be further modified by the functionalisation of the pore surface. This can alter surface properties such as acidity, hydrophobicity, or specific affinity. The functional group is added to the inorganic precursor by copolycondensation where it will replace an alkoxy group.
For more information see www.mesoporous.com