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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metamorphosis of ordered mesopores to micropores: periodic silica with unprecedented loading of pendant reactive organic groups transforms to periodic microporous silica with tailorable pore size.

Ordered porous silicas with unprecedented loadings of pendant vinyl groups have been synthesized via co-condensation of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and triethoxyvinylsilane (TEVS) under basic conditions in the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium surfactant. The resulting organosilicate-surfactant composites exhibited at least one low-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) peak up to the TEVS:TEOS molar ratio of 7:3 (70% TEVS loading) in the synthesis gel. The surfactant was removed from these composites without any structural collapse. Nitrogen adsorption provided strong evidence of the presence of uniformly sized pores and the lack of phase separation up to TEVS:TEOS ratios as high as 13:7 (65% TEVS loading), whereas (29)Si MAS NMR and high-resolution thermogravimetry showed essentially quantitative incorporation of the organosilane. Thus, a hitherto unachieved loading level for pendant groups, considered by many to be impossible to achieve for stable organosilicas because of the expected framework connectivity constraints, has been obtained. The resulting vinyl-functionalized silicas exhibited gradually decreasing pore diameter (from 2.8 to 1.7 nm for TEVS loadings of 25-65%) and pore volume as the loading of pendant groups increased, but the specific surface area was relatively constant. Because of the reactivity of vinyl groups, ordered silicas with very high loadings of these groups are expected to be robust starting materials for the synthesis of other organic-functionalized ordered microporous materials. Herein, we demonstrate that these starting materials can also be transformed via calcination into ordered microporous silicas with pore diameters tailorable from 2.5 to as little as 1.4 nm simply by using an appropriate loading of the vinyl-functionalized precursor. This ease of the micropore size adjustment and the attained degree of structural ordering (as judged from XRD) have not been reported before. The novel ordered microporous materials reported herein are promising as adsorbents and catalyst supports.[1]


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