Tuning SiO2 nanostructures from 1D to 3D nanotubes network using polycarbonate membranes

F. Drault1,2, S. Hermans1, S. Demoustier-Champagne 2

1 IMCN (MOST division), UCLouvain, 1 Place Louis Pasteur, B-1348 Louvain-la- Neuve.
2 IMCN (BSMA division), UCLouvain, Croix du Sud 1, B-1348, Louvain-la-Neuve.

contact e-mail: fabien.drault@uclouvain.be

Tuning silica (SiO2) nanostructures from one-dimensional (1D) to three-dimensional (3D) nanotubes (NTs) networks is of great interest. Indeed, free-standing 3D SiO2 NTs membranes could be useful for several applications, and in particular for heterogeneous catalytic systems involving flow chemistry and continuous processes. Indeed, SiO2 is a well-known catalysis support with a high versatility for tailoring. The advantage of the proposed nanotubes synthesis method resides in the possible multi-functionalization of their inner and/or outer surfaces by different active sites, which could be incompatible when in direct contact. These nanostructured multi-functional catalysts allow cascade reactions with a single material1.

To this aim, polycarbonate track-etched (PCTE) membranes (it4ip) with an interconnected cylindrical nanopores system have been used as template2. The synthesis of 3D SiO2 NTs (Figure 1), based on a 1D SiO2 NTs synthesis3, consists in the two following steps: sol-gel deposition and extraction of the template. In addition, the selective gold nanoparticles functionalization of the SiO2 nanotube’s inner surface has been performed by electroless deposition4. The obtained materials were characterized by multiple techniques (i.e. electron microscopy (Figure 2), XRD, N2 physisorption, XPS) at each step of their elaboration and key parameters to control silica sol-gel and gold electroless deposition were identified.


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3.        Liang, Z. & Susha, A. S. Mesostructured Silica Tubes and Rods by Templating Porous Membranes. Chemistry - A European Journal 10, 4910–4914 (2004).
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