Microstructural Characterization of Polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide)-Templated Silica Films with Cubic-Ordered Spherical Mesopores

01/2003; DOI: 10.1021/la034798m

ABSTRACT Abstract: We report the synthesis and characterization of mesostructured thin silica films derived from methyltriethoxysilane (MTES) and/or tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) silica precursors and polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) diblock copolymers via the solvent evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) process. It is found that the meso- and microstructure of the calcined films consists of cubic-ordered arrays of spherical mesopores of 5-7 nm in diameter, interconnected with a small number (4% by volume) of PEO-induced micropores of ~1 nm in diameter, as determined by new experimental results of transmission electron microscopy, N2 sorption, gas permeation, and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering studies. The present comprehensive study of these novel closed-pore films should provide a general methodology for microstructural characterization of other related porous films prepared by similar self-assembly processes.

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    ABSTRACT: High molecular weight polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) diblock copolymer (PS-b-PEO) is utilized as colloidal spheres in the presence of water. Adequately thick films with multilayers of spherical macropores are fabricated in one-pot under highly concentrated conditions of PS-b-PEO. The frameworks are constructed using aluminum organophosphonate as a complicated hybrid component. The macropores (30-200 nm) are homogeneously distributed over the entire films and pore windows between the macropores are tunable (up to nearly 10 nm) by changing the relative amount of PS-b-PEO in the precursor solutions.
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    ABSTRACT: A solvent evaporation induced aggregating assembly (EIAA) method has been demonstrated for synthesis of highly ordered mesoporous silicas (OMS) in the acidic tetrahydrofuran (THF)/H(2)O mixture by using poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PEO-b-PMMA) as the template and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) as the silica precursor. During the continuous evaporation of THF (a good solvent for PEO-b-PMMA) from the reaction solution, the template molecules, together with silicate oligomers, were driven to form composite micelles in the homogeneous solution and further assemble into large particles with ordered mesostructure. The obtained ordered mesoporous silicas possess a unique crystal-like morphology with a face centered cubic (fcc) mesostructure, large pore size up to 37.0 nm, large window size (8.7 nm), high BET surface area (508 m(2)/g), and large pore volume (1.46 cm(3)/g). Because of the large accessible mesopores, uniform gold nanoparticles (ca. 4.0 nm) can be introduced into mesopores of the OMS materials using the in situ reduction method. The obtained Au/OMS materials were successfully applied to fast catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophenol in the presence of NaHB(4) as the reductant. The supported catalysts can be reused for catalytic reactions without significant decrease in catalysis performance even after 10 cycles.
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    ABSTRACT: Ultralarge-pore FDU-12 (ULP-FDU-12) silicas with face-centered cubic structures (Fm3m symmetry) of spherical mesopores were synthesized at low initial temperature (∼14 °C) using commercially available PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymer Pluronic F127 as a micellar template and xylene as a micelle expander. Xylene was selected on the basis of its predicted higher swelling ability for the Pluronic surfactant micelles in comparison to 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene that was used previously to obtain large-pore FDU-12. The optimization of the synthesis conditions afforded as-synthesized ULP-FDU-12 materials with unit-cell parameters up to 56 nm, which is comparable to the highest reported values for Fm3m structures templated by custom-made surfactants. Calcined silicas were obtained with unit-cell parameters up to 53 nm and pore diameters up to ∼36 nm (for N(2) adsorption at 77 K, the capillary condensation relative pressure was up to 0.938). The preferred silica source was tetraethylorthosilicate, but tetramethylorthosilicate was also found suitable. The pore diameter was dependent on the unit-cell size of the as-synthesized material, but was further tuned by adjusting the time and temperature of the treatment in the HCl solution. If the synthesis was performed at low temperature only, highly ordered closed-pore silicas were obtained at calcination temperatures as low as 450 °C. On the other hand, the hydrothermal treatments, including the acid treatment at 130 °C, afforded silicas with large pore entrance sizes. The present synthesis constitutes a major advancement in the synthesis of ordered silicas with very large open and closed spherical mesopores.
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