Nanostructured porous (inorganic) materials are receiving much attention in recent years owing to their potential for next-generation device applications. Despite the progress made in the preparation, stable non-binary metal oxides are often ill-defined from a structural/morphological point of view. The major reason is that the crystallization (nucleation, crystal growth, etc.) is difficult to control.
In the first part of this talk, I will describe the block-copolymer-templating synthesis of a series of high-quality sol-gel derived spinel ferrite thin films with a unique mesoporous morphology, including LFO (lithium ferrite), CFO (cobalt ferrite), and NFO (nickel ferrite). In the second part, I will show that the general idea of combining nanomagnetism and lithium-ion battery storage concepts can be applied to transition metal ferrites. When using the above-mentioned thin film materials as insertion anodes in lithium cells, they allow for the intriguing possibility of tuning of magnetization at room temperature without compromising the lattice or pore structure.