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MAPEX Research Highlights

Beating Thermal Coarsening in Nanoporous Materials via High-Entropy Design

Soo-Hyun Joo,* Jae Wung Bae, Won-Young Park, Yusuke Shimada, Takeshi Wada, Hyoung Seop Kim, Akira Takeuchi, Toyohiko J. Konno, Hidemi Kato,* and Ilya V. Okulov

Advanced Materials (2019) 1906160

Controlling the feature sizes of 3D bicontinuous nanoporous (3DNP) materials is essential for their advanced applications in catalysis, sensing, energy systems, etc., requiring high specific surface area. However, the intrinsic coarsening of nanoporous materials naturally reduces their surface energy leading to the deterioration of physical properties over time, even at ambient temperatures. A novel 3DNP material beating the universal relationship of thermal coarsening is reported via high-entropy alloy (HEA) design. In newly developed TiVNbMoTa 3DNP HEAs, the nanoporous structure is constructed by very fine nanoscale ligaments of a solid-solution phase due to enhanced phase stability by maximizing the configuration entropy and suppressed surface diffusion. The smallest size of 3DNP HEA synthesized at 873 K is about 10 nm, which is one order of magnitude smaller than that of conventional porous materials. More importantly, the yield strength of ligament in 3DNP HEA approaches its theoretical strength of G/2π of the corresponding HEA alloy even after thermal exposure. This finding signifies the key benefit of high-entropy design in nanoporous materials—exceptional stability of size-related physical properties. This high-entropy strategy should thus open new opportunities for developing ultrastable nanomaterials against its environment.

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