Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2015, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 393-411.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201412261

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Functional Applications of Ordered Honeycomb-Patterned Porous Films Based on the Breath Figure Technique

LI Zhi-Guang, MA Xiao-Yan, HONG Qing, GUAN Xing-Hua   

  1. Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry, Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science & Technology of Shaanxi Province, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710129, P. R. China
  • Received:2014-10-08 Revised:2014-12-26 Published:2015-03-06
  • Contact: MA Xiao-Yan
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51372206), Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province, China (2013JM2012), and Innovation Project of Science and Technology of Shaanxi Province, China (2013KTCG01-14).


The breath figure (BF) technique is regarded as a powerful tool for the fabrication of strictly ordered and closely packed nano- and micro-porous films. It is a facile, economical, and versatile approach in which condensed water droplets serve as a benign template by rearranging on the polymer solution surface. They direct the assembly of polymer molecules into ordered patterns. Furthermore, the morphology of the pores can be adjusted and optimized by controlling several critical experimental parameters such as the film-forming system of the materials and the circumstances. This technique has a vast range of potential and promising applications in relevant areas such as separations, templating, stimuli-responsive surfaces, biosensing and photoelectric materials. However, the possible interplay of general mechanisms for the formation of all breath figure systems is complex, because each casting system is unique. In some cases no definite conclusion on the effect of each variable could be drawn until now. We review investigations at home and abroad including our group over the last five years on the preparation of honeycomb porous films using the breath figure method. We summarize and analyze their formation, influencing factors, function technologies and the applications of these porous films, and attempt to reveal the principles behind the formation of holes and the control of pore morphology. This work is expected to lay the foundation for follow-up studies and applications.

Key words: Breath figure method, Honeycomb porous film, Formation, Characterization method, Influencing factor, Functional application