Having a large surface area improves the turn over number in catalysis, absorption capacity in separations, energy storage capacity in supercapacitors and batteries. Therefore, porous materials with nanosize features providing large accessible surface area as supports, catalysts and electrodes are desired to improve process performances and capacities in these applications.
The design and synthesis of precisely controlled porous materials are elaborate and may involve multiple steps, hazardous chemicals and post-treatment steps. For example, in processes such as capacitive deionization for water desalination, electrodes are the most demanding components. Therefore, alternative methods that are ideally one-pot, one-step that minimize mass and maximize atom economy are desired for the synthesis of porous materials to make them more affordable and environmentally benign.