Metal loaded nanoporous silicas with tailor-made properties through hyperbranched polymer assisted templating approaches
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Engineering sciences. Technology
Microporous and mesoporous materials: zeolites, clays, carbons and related materials. - Amsterdam
, p. 107-119
University of Antwerp
Over the last years, mesoporous silicas have gathered considerable interest especially in the field of catalysis, singled out as excellent catalytic supports owing to their intriguing textural features. Herein, the synthesis of novel nanoporous silicate materials containing copper or palladium nanoparticles, by means of co-assembly and one-pot templating pathways is described. Inclusion of metal nanoparticles within the porous network of the silicate materials is accomplished with the use of hyperbranched Polyethyleneimines (PEIs), serving both as chelating and secondary structure directing agents. The co-assembly method involves the introduction of PEI into the initial reaction mixture containing the triblock copolymer Pluronic P123 as the main template and TEOS as the silica source, whereas incorporation of metal nanoparticles is performed at a second step. In the one-pot approach, the only difference is that metal loading is carried out in a single step through the direct insertion of PEI already complexed with the desired metal, into the synthetic gel. Several parameters are investigated including solution's pH, reaction path and PEI's molecular weight. Results from TGA, XRD, N2 porosimetry, electron microprobe, SEM, TEM and UV-DR analyses, confirm that both synthetic strategies can produce nanoporous materials with advanced and tunable textural and morphological characteristics and thus widened application prospects. Among the examined synthesis parameters, PEI molecular weight and synthetic gel's pH were found to have the most pronounced effect on final material pore architecture, morphology, metal loading and dispersion. Preliminary deNOx activity tests in the NO + CO reaction indicated that the developed materials could find use in environmental applications.