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Self-Assembled Mesoporous Zirconia and Sulfated Zirconia Nanoparticles Synthesized by Triblock Copolymer as Template

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journal contribution
posted on 2009-05-21, 00:00 authored by Swapan K. Das, Manas K. Bhunia, Anil K. Sinha, Asim Bhaumik
Self-assembled highly crystalline ZrO2 nanoparticles with mesoscopic ordering have been synthesized by a simple chemical process, evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA), in the presence of an amphiphilic block copolymer, pluoronic F127, as template. The mesoscopic assembly of the ZrO2 nanoparticles and the crystallinity of the pore walls were studied by using small- and wide-angle X-ray powder diffractions and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image analysis. N2 sorption studies and high-resolution TEM results further revealed that mesopores are formed by the regular arrangement of the ca. 7.0 nm size nanoparticles and their broad interparticle pore size distribution. This mesoporous ZrO2 nanomaterial has been sulfated by 1 N sulfuric acid, and the resulting sulfated material showed strong acidity in NH3−temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) analysis. Catalytic activity of the mesoporous sulfated zirconia material has been utilized in the Friedel−Crafts alkylation (benzylation) of mesitylene, where it showed excellent catalytic efficiency for the monoalkylated products.

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