Nanomaterials, Vol. 11, Pages 2522: Newly Designed Mesoporous Silica and Organosilica Nanostructures Based on Pentablock Copolymer Templates in Weakly Acidic Media
Nanomaterials doi: 10.3390/nano11102522
We developed a new category of porous silica and organosilicas nanostructures in a facile method based on weakly acidic aqueous-ethanol media by utilizing two different pentablock copolymer templates of type PLGA-PEO-PPO-PEO-PLGA. Pluronic block templates were used mainly to prepare these pentablock copolymers with different molecular weights and volume ratios. Silica precursor tetraethyl orthosilicate and organosilicas precursor 1,4-bis(triethoxysilyl)benzene have been used as main source for synthesizing the silica and organosilicas samples. Weak Lewis acids iron(III) chloride hexahydrate, aluminum(III) chloride hexahydrate, and boric acid were utilized as catalyst instead of any strong inorganic acids and the molar ratio of catalyst/precursor has been optimized to 1–2 for preparation of ordered mesostructures. Reaction temperatures have been optimized to 25 °C for pure silica and both 25 °C as well as 40 °C for organosilicas to get the best result for mesostructures. A detailed analysis by using various analytical techniques like synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering, nitrogen sorption, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscope, solid-state 29Si CP-MAS nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and so on has revealed well developed mesostructures with surface area of 388–836 m2/g for silica and 210–691 m2/g for organosilica samples, respectively. Furthermore, bimodal typepores have been observed from pore size distribution plot of the samples. Thermal stability of the materials was up to 400 °C as analyzed by thermogravimetric analysis.
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