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Large Cage Face-Centered-Cubic Fm3m Mesoporous Silica:  Synthesis and Structure

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posted on 25.12.2003, 00:00 by Freddy Kleitz, Dinan Liu, Gopinathan M. Anilkumar, In-Soo Park, Leonid A. Solovyov, Alexandr N. Shmakov, Ryong Ryoo
The synthesis and precise structural characterization of highly ordered three-dimensional close-packed cage-type mesoporous silica is reported. The siliceous mesoporous material is proven to be commensurate with the face-centered-cubic Fm3m symmetry in high purity by a combination of experimental and simulated powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses. The cage-type calcined samples were additionally characterized by nitrogen physisorption. The aqueous synthesis method to prepare large cage mesoporous silica with cubic Fm3m structure is based on the use of EO106PO70EO106 triblock copolymer (F127) at low HCl concentrations, with no additional salts or organic additives. Here, emphasis is put on the low HCl concentration regime, allowing the facile thermodynamic control of the silica−triblock copolymer mesophase self-assembly. Further, simple application of hydrothermal treatments at various temperatures ranging from 45 to 150 °C enables the tailoring of the mesopore diameters and apertures. The combination of experimental and simulated XRD patterns and TEM images is confirmed to be a very powerful means for the accurate elucidation of the structure of new mesoporous materials.

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