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A Novel Family of Ordered, Mesoporous Inorganic/Organic Hybrid Polymers Containing Covalently and Multiply Bound Microporous Organic Hosts

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journal contribution
posted on 02.05.2003, 00:00 by Chunqing Liu, Joseph B. Lambert, Lei Fu
We have prepared a new family of periodic hybrid polymers containing microporous cavities provided by covalently bound organic hosts. Cyclodextrin (CD) or calixarene (CX) hosts are attached to four or more trialkoxysilyl groups, which are polymerized to form a polysilsesquioxane matrix. Structural integrity is provided by copolymerization with tetraethoxysilane, which produces a polysilicate co-matrix. Periodic order is created by carrying out the polymerization in the presence of a surfactant, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. The resulting as-synthesized polymers from these three starting materials were characterized by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The 13C and 29Si spectra provided evidence for intact polysilsesquioxane, polysilicate, organic host, and surfactant. Removal of the surfactant by washing produced a polymer containing cavities of mesoporous dimensions, in addition to the microporous host cavities. The purpose of introducing mesoporosity is to allow enhanced access of guests to the microporous hosts. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that both as-synthesized and solvent-extracted polymers have a periodic structure. All polymers are completely insoluble in water. The as-synthesized CD-containing polymers extracted up to >99% of 4-nitrophenol from aqueous solution, and the solvent-extracted CX-containing polymers extracted up to 67% of Fe3+ and lesser amounts of other metal cations from aqueous solution, with interesting selectivity patterns. Simple filtration then removes the polymer containing the extracted organic molecule or metal cation. These extraction abilities are superior to previous materials.