Nanopore Gradients on Porous Aluminum Oxide Generated by Nonuniform Anodization of Aluminum

Krishna Kant, Suet Low, Asif Marshal, Joseph Shapter, Dusan Losic

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    A method for surface engineering of structural gradients with nanopore topography using the self-ordering process based on electrochemical anodization of aluminum is described. A distinct anodization condition with an asymmetrically distributed electric field at the electrolyte/aluminum interface is created by nonparallel arrangement between electrodes (tilted by 45°) in an electrochemical cell. The anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) porous surfaces with ordered nanopore structures with gradual and continuous change of pore diameters from 80 to 300 nm across an area of 0.5-1 cm were fabricated by this anodization using two common electrolytes, oxalic acid (0.3 M) and phosphoric acid (0.3 M). The formation of pore gradients of AAO is explained by asymmetric and gradual distribution of the current density and temperature variation generated on the surface of Al during the anodization process. Optical and wetting gradients of prepared pore structures were confirmed by reflective interferometric spectroscopy and contact angle measurements showing the ability of this method to generate porous surfaces with multifunctional gradients (structural, optical, wetting). The study of influence of pore structures on cell growth using the culture of neuroblastoma cells reveals biological relevance of nanopore gradients and the potential to be applied as the platform for spatially controllable cell growth and cell differentiation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3447-3454
    Number of pages8
    JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2010


    • anodization
    • nanoporous alumina
    • neuroblastoma cells
    • optical gradients
    • pore gradients
    • structural gradients


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