Preparation of Mesoporous Materials with Highly Condensed Network Structures
The development of ordered mesoporous silica particles and films has been underway for some time but their ultimate applications in devices, catalysis, and separations has been challenged by issues of thermal and mechanical stability.
It was discovered that by combining a bi-functional catalyst (reported in the prior art), with a structure directing surfactant, well ordered mesporous silicas that are virtually all Q4 linkages can be produced. The materials are remarkably stable and undergo virtually no shrinkage or mechanical instability at very high temperatures (up to 800°C). Additionally, the use of biomimetic catalyst system to produce mesporous silicas at neutral pH enables the encapsulation of bioactive species for use in therapeutics, catalysis and sensors.
The work is still in the early stages but has the potential to solve a significant challenge for the synthesis and application of mesoporous materials and success of this technique might be extended to other bi-functional, biomimetic catalysts.
Commercial uses would include catalyst supports, separations media, and thin films for micro-electronics device applications.
Conventional synthesis routes employ conditions at extreme pH, which is detrimental to biologically active materials. The novelty here is the synthesis of mesoporous silica with near complete network condensation and exceptionally high thermal, mechanical and structural stability.
Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., MBA
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property