Actual research project

Structure and Properties of Periodic Mesoporous Silica and Organosilicas

This project is in collaboration with Prof. Doug Perovic in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering .

Periodic, mesoporous silica (SiO2) is a material synthesized by sol-gel polymerization of silica around a self-assembled template of surfactant molecules. A typical hexagonal structure (MCM-41) is shown to the right, as represented by an atomic model ( Dr. Rob Bell , The Royal Institution of Great Britain ). The diameters of the channels here are about 4 nm.

I am interested in the mechanical and insulating dielectric properties of these nanoporous silica and organosilica materials as spin-coated thin films. With a good combination of low dielectric constant (k), hydrophobicity and mechanical strength, they may make useful materials as low-k films in microelectronic systems. The increasing device and interconnect densities requires interlayer dielectrics (ILC) with dielectric constant lower than silicon dioxide (k = 3.9 4.2) to help lower the intra- and interlayer capacitance which limits performance speed.

I am also using nanoindentation to measure the mechanical properties of various nanostructures. A force is applied to a sharp diamond tip and we measure the depth to which it penetrates the surface of a material. In general the strength of materials increases dramatically as the scale is reduced (ie; the use of glass fibres in fiberglass). In nature, structural materials such as bone, shell or tooth, often consist of complex 3-D arrangements of strong reinforcements in a soft matrix as nanostructured materials. A technique like self-assembly allows us to design complex nanocomposites using the mesoporous silica shown above.


Work: Dept. of Chemistry
University of Toronto
Lash Miller Building
80, St. George Street
M5S3H6 Toronto , Canada
Office: Room LM 308
Phone: 416-978-6722
Fax : 416 971 2011

Wallberg Building
University of Toronto
184, College St.
Office: Room WB171
Phone: 416-946-0016

Curriculum Vitae

  • B.Sc.Eng. in Materials Science and Engineering, Queen's University , Kingston (1991-1995)
  • M.Eng. in Materials Science and Engineering,McMaster University , Hamilton (1996-1998)
  • Thesis on "Flaw Tolerant Alumina/zirconia Multilayered Composites" synthesized by electrophoretic deposition
  • Visiting researcher at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) at Tsukuba (Science City), Japan (1998-1999), research on synthesis of advanced engineering ceramics by casting and electrophoretic deposition
  • Ph.D. candidate in materials chemistry/engineering (2000-present), University of Toronto


  • Concordia Bursary (1997)
  • Concordia Bursary (1998)
  • Dean's List (1997-1999)
  • FCAR scholarship (2000-2001)
  • University of Toronto Fellowship (2002-2003)

List of major publications

  • K. Landskron, B. D. Hatton, D. D. Perovic, G. A. Ozin, Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas Containing Interconnected [Si(CH 2 )] 3 Rings, Science , accepted for publication.
  • Y. Cohen, B.D. Hatton, H. Miguez, N. Coombs, S. Fournier-Bidoz, J. Grey, R. Beaulac, C. Reber, G.A. Ozin, Spin-on nanostructured silicon-silica film displaying room-temperature nanosecond lifetime photoluminescence . Advanced Materials (2003), 15(7-8), 572-576.
  • T. Uchikoshi, B.D. Hatton, Y. Sakka, P.S. Nicholson, Electrical conductivity of a 3Y-TZP/alumina laminate composite synthesized by electrophoretic deposition . Journal of the Ceramic Society of Japan (2002), 110(Oct.), 959-962.
  • H. Miguez, N. Tetreault, B. Hatton, S.M. Yang, D. Perovic, G.A. Ozin, Mechanical stability enhancement by pore size and connectivity control in colloidal crystals by layer-by-layer growth of oxide . Chemical Communications (2002), (22), 2736-2737.
  • B.D. Hatton, Y. Sakka, Influence of Washing on Zirconia Powder for Electrophoretic Deposition, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 84 (3) 666-668 (2001)
  • T. Uchikoshi, K. Ozawa, B.D. Hatton, Y. Sakka, Dense, Bubble-free Ceramic Deposits from Aqueous Suspensions by Electrophoretic Deposition , Journal of Materials Research, 16 (2) 321-324 (2001).
  • B.D. Hatton, P.S. Nicholson, Design and Fracture of Layered Al2O3/TZ3Y Composites Produced by Electrophoretic Deposition , Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 84 (3), 571-576 (2001).





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