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The Dynamic Association Processes Leading from a Silica Precursor to a Mesoporous SBA-15 Material.

Alfredsson, Viveka LU and Wennerström, Håkan LU (2015) In Accounts of Chemical Research 48(7). p.1891-1900
Abstract
During the last two decades, the synthesis of silica with an ordered mesoporous structure has been thoroughly explored. The basis of the synthesis is to let silica monomers polymerize in the presence of an amphiphilic template component. In the first studies, cationic surfactants were used as structure inducer. Later it was shown that pluronic copolymers also could have the role. One advantage with the pluronics copolymers is that they allow for a wider variation in the radius of pores in the resulting silica material. Another advantage lies in the higher stability resulting from the thicker walls between the pores. Mesoporous silica has a very high area to volume ratio, and the ordered structure ensures surface homogeneity. There are a... (More)
During the last two decades, the synthesis of silica with an ordered mesoporous structure has been thoroughly explored. The basis of the synthesis is to let silica monomers polymerize in the presence of an amphiphilic template component. In the first studies, cationic surfactants were used as structure inducer. Later it was shown that pluronic copolymers also could have the role. One advantage with the pluronics copolymers is that they allow for a wider variation in the radius of pores in the resulting silica material. Another advantage lies in the higher stability resulting from the thicker walls between the pores. Mesoporous silica has a very high area to volume ratio, and the ordered structure ensures surface homogeneity. There are a number of applications of this type of material. It can be used as support for catalysts, as templates to produces other mesoporous inorganic materials, or in controlled release applications. The synthesis of mesoporous silica is, from a practical point of view, simple, but there are significant possibilities to vary synthesis conditions with a concomitant effect on the properties of the resulting material. It is clear that the structural properties on the nanometer scale are determined by the self-assembly properties of the amphiphile, and this knowledge has been used to optimize pore geometry and pore size. To have a practical functional material it is desirable to also control the structure on a micrometer scale and larger. In practice, one has largely taken an empirical approach in optimizing reaction conditions, paying less attention to underlying chemical and physicochemical mechanisms that lead from starting conditions to the final product. In this Account, we present our systematic studies of the processes involved not only in the formation of the mesoporous structure as such, but also of the formation of structures on the micrometer scale. The main point is to show how the ongoing silica polymerization triggers a sequence of structural changes through the action of colloidal interactions. Our approach is to use a multitude of experimental methods to characterize the time evolution of the same highly reproducible synthesis process. It is the silica polymerization reactions that set the time scale, and the block copolymer self-assembly responds to the progress of the polymerization through a basically hydrophobic interaction between silica and ethylene oxide units. The progression of the silica polymerization leads to an increased hydrophobicity triggering an aggregation process resulting in the formation of silica-copolymer composite particles of increasing size. The particle growth occurs in a stepwise way caused by intricate shifts between colloidal stability and instability. By tuning reaction conditions one can have an end product of hexagonal prism composite particles with single crystal 2D hexagonal order. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Accounts of Chemical Research
volume
48
issue
7
pages
1891 - 1900
publisher
The American Chemical Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:26107533
  • wos:000358556400013
  • scopus:84937680948
ISSN
1520-4898
DOI
10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00165
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
aa1b11cf-ddca-44bf-9c1f-03b028168a5e (old id 7478014)
date added to LUP
2015-08-14 14:07:53
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:10:38
@article{aa1b11cf-ddca-44bf-9c1f-03b028168a5e,
  abstract     = {During the last two decades, the synthesis of silica with an ordered mesoporous structure has been thoroughly explored. The basis of the synthesis is to let silica monomers polymerize in the presence of an amphiphilic template component. In the first studies, cationic surfactants were used as structure inducer. Later it was shown that pluronic copolymers also could have the role. One advantage with the pluronics copolymers is that they allow for a wider variation in the radius of pores in the resulting silica material. Another advantage lies in the higher stability resulting from the thicker walls between the pores. Mesoporous silica has a very high area to volume ratio, and the ordered structure ensures surface homogeneity. There are a number of applications of this type of material. It can be used as support for catalysts, as templates to produces other mesoporous inorganic materials, or in controlled release applications. The synthesis of mesoporous silica is, from a practical point of view, simple, but there are significant possibilities to vary synthesis conditions with a concomitant effect on the properties of the resulting material. It is clear that the structural properties on the nanometer scale are determined by the self-assembly properties of the amphiphile, and this knowledge has been used to optimize pore geometry and pore size. To have a practical functional material it is desirable to also control the structure on a micrometer scale and larger. In practice, one has largely taken an empirical approach in optimizing reaction conditions, paying less attention to underlying chemical and physicochemical mechanisms that lead from starting conditions to the final product. In this Account, we present our systematic studies of the processes involved not only in the formation of the mesoporous structure as such, but also of the formation of structures on the micrometer scale. The main point is to show how the ongoing silica polymerization triggers a sequence of structural changes through the action of colloidal interactions. Our approach is to use a multitude of experimental methods to characterize the time evolution of the same highly reproducible synthesis process. It is the silica polymerization reactions that set the time scale, and the block copolymer self-assembly responds to the progress of the polymerization through a basically hydrophobic interaction between silica and ethylene oxide units. The progression of the silica polymerization leads to an increased hydrophobicity triggering an aggregation process resulting in the formation of silica-copolymer composite particles of increasing size. The particle growth occurs in a stepwise way caused by intricate shifts between colloidal stability and instability. By tuning reaction conditions one can have an end product of hexagonal prism composite particles with single crystal 2D hexagonal order.},
  author       = {Alfredsson, Viveka and Wennerström, Håkan},
  issn         = {1520-4898},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1891--1900},
  publisher    = {The American Chemical Society},
  series       = {Accounts of Chemical Research},
  title        = {The Dynamic Association Processes Leading from a Silica Precursor to a Mesoporous SBA-15 Material.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00165},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2015},
}