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Hanrahan, J. P.,Copley, M. P.,Spalding, T. R.,Holmes, J. D.,Steytler, D. C.,Amenitsch, H.,Steinhart, M.,Morris, M. A.;
Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids
In situ studies of order-disorder phenomena in the synthesis of mesoporous silica
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The initial hydrolysis of a silicon alkoxide in the presence of a suitable structural directing agent (template) so as to form a mesoporous silica powder exhibiting long-range hexagonal ordering was monitored using in situ XRD (X-ray diffraction), SAXS (small angle X-ray scattering) and SANS (small angle neutron scattering). The non-ionic triblock copolymer P123 (EO20PO69EO20) was employed as the organic templating agent and tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) was used as the silica source in the presence of a water/acid catalyst. The synthesis method described herein is based around a high volume concentration ratio of surfactant to TMOS. The formation of a long-range mesoscopically ordered organic-inorganic hybrid that could be subsequently calcined to form a hexagonally structured mesoporous oxide material was monitored over 6 days using the characteristic (100) reflection. It was seen that during this 'maturation' period the reaction is not progressive and SANS and SAXS data together with XRD experiments show that there is an initial kinetically rapid organic ordering process which provides a template for the formation of an ordered metastable organic-inorganic oxide phase which then becomes progressively more disordered before a final kinetically slow stable long-range ordered phase is formed. Discussions of the origin of the unexpected order-disorder phenomena are made. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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