I enrolled in a research exchange program called CAMPUS ASIA on the fall semester of 2013, where I was given on opportunity to be a part of Shun’ai Che’s Lab and conduct research in inorganic chemistry.
Pressure-Assisted Synthesis of Mesoporous Silica
While a variety of strategies have been invented for surfactant-templated synthesis of mesoporous silica, researchers considered the only temperature as a thermodynamic variable of synthesis, completely neglecting pressure. Hereby I report the synthesis of mesoporous silica under pressure ranging from 0.1 MPa (atmospheric pressure) to 22 MPa (critical point of water). Results from three different surfactants, CTAB, C16-3-1, and C18GluA, confirmed that pressure itself is not a critical parameter in determining their structure or morphology. However, using the fact that the boiling point of water rises as the given pressure increases, the temperature limit for aging steps is dramatically elevated under high pressure, enabling us to react over 100 °C. Under the condition of 15 MPa, where the boiling point of water is 342 °C, synthesis of mesoporous silica from C16-3-1 and C18GluA was carried out at 100—300 °C and their powder XRD patterns were observed. While C16-3-1 had not been highly influenced by the temperature in this range, C18GluA over 150 °C showed a substantial difference from the existing results made under atmospheric boiling point.