Synthesis and Characterization of Functionalized Mesoporous Silica by Aerosol-Assisted Self-Assembly

An efficient, productive, and low-cost aerosol-assisted self-assembly process has been developed to produce organically modified mesoporous silica particles via a direct co-condensation of silicate species and organosilicates that contain nonhydrolyzable functional groups in the presence of templating surfactant molecules. Different surfactants including cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, nonionic surfactant Brij-56, and triblock copolymer P123 have been used as the structure-directing agents. The organosilanes used in this study include tridecafluoro-1,1,2,2-tetrahydrooctyltriethoxysilane, methytriethoxysilane, vinyltrimethoxysilane, and 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy studies indicate the formation of particles with various mesostructures. Fourier transform infrared and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectra confirm the organic ligands are covalently bound to the surface of the silica framework. The porosity, pore size, and surface area of the particles were characterized using nitrogen adsorption and desorption measurements. This method provides a direct synthesis route to efficiently synthesize a large variety of organic functionalized mesoporous silica particles with controlled pore sizes, pore surface chemistry, and pore structures for catalyst, filler, and other applications.