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Mesoporous materials and catalysis

The research about mesoporous materials is divided into two main projects: synthesis of mesopourous silica particles and films and the effect of synthesis parameters, and doping of mesoporous structures to be used in catalysis.

Mesoporous particles and films

Mesoporous silica with cylindrical (SBA-15) and spherical (SBA-16) are in focus. The effects of different synthsis parameters are explored and have resulted in mesoporous materials with unusually large pores (<19 nm) and morphologies such as fibers, sheets, rods, and platelets. Furthermore new techniques for synthesizing mesopous films with easilly accessible pores are developed.
We are collaborating with several other research groups that are using our tailormade materials in applications such as drug delivery, enzyme immobilization, and catalysis.
 
The figure shows the effect of some synthesis parameters on the morphology of SBA-15.
 
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Catalytic reactions in mesoporous materials

In the field of nanomaterials many properties change with the size of the crystallites, and one of those properties is the catalytic activity. Not only does the surface area increase with reduced crystallite size, but the number of active sites on the crystal surface also increases. In order to have a large available surface area, mesoporous silica is used as a matrix for the catalysts, e.g. the silica walls can be doped with metals and nanoparticles are grown in the mesopores.

The catalytic activity or the synthesized materials is studied in a 100 ml high pressure reactor connected to a GC-MS, and a range of analytic techniques are further used to study the surface of the catalysts, e.g. FTIR and chemisorption.

The figure shows the reactor used for studies of catalytic reactions.

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Responsible for this page: Emma Björk

Last updated: 09/22/15