Kinetic Influence of Siliceous Reactions on Structure Formation of Mesoporous Silica Formed via the Co-Structure Directing Agent Route

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We investigate the mechanism responsible for the formation of mesoporous silica formed with the so-called costructure directing agent (CSDA) route. The synthesis relies on the interaction between silica source (tetraethylorthosilicate), cationic surfactant (C18H37N+(CH3)2(CH2)3N+(CH3)3Br2), and CSDA (carboxyethylsilanetriol), which results in a material functionalized with carboxylic groups. Depending on the concentration of HCl in the synthesis, the structure is defined by Fm3¯m (at high pH) and by Fd3¯m (at low pH), with a gradual transition in the intermediate pH range. Here, we aim at finding the origin for the structural change triggered by pH and investigate the effects of the hydrolysis of the silica source on the overall kinetics of the synthesis. A fast process results in Fm3¯m, regardless of pH, and a slow process results in Fd3¯m. The hydrolysis step is the important structural control parameter. We studied the cross-linking of silica and CSDA using 29Si NMR. The cross-linking is similar for the two structures, and possibly the Fd3¯m structure contains slightly more CSDA. 13C PT ssNMR was used to investigate the surfactant mobility/rigidity during the synthesis. The rigidity of the Fm3¯m is established much faster than that of the Fd3¯m.


External organisations
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Bath
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3814-3821
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2016 Feb 25
Publication categoryResearch