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An ordered mesoporous organosilica hybrid material with a crystal-like wall structure


Surfactant-mediated synthesis strategies are widely used to fabricate ordered mesoporous solids1,2,3,4,5,6 in the form of metal oxides7, metals8, carbon9 and hybrid organosilicas10,11,12,13,14. These materials have amorphous pore walls, which could limit their practical utility. In the case of mesoporous metal oxides, efforts to crystallize the framework structure by thermal15,16 and hydrothermal treatments17 have resulted in crystallization of only a fraction of the pore walls. Here we report the surfactant-mediated synthesis of an ordered benzene–silica hybrid material; this material has an hexagonal array of mesopores with a lattice constant of 52.5 Å, and crystal-like pore walls that exhibit structural periodicity with a spacing of 7.6 Å along the channel direction. The periodic pore surface structure results from alternating hydrophilic and hydrophobic layers, composed of silica and benzene, respectively. We believe that this material is formed as a result of structure-directing interactions between the benzene–silica precursor molecules, and between the precursor molecules and the surfactants. We expect that other organosilicas and organo-metal oxides can be produced in a similar fashion, to yield a range of hierarchically ordered mesoporous solids with molecular-scale pore surface periodicity.

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Figure 1: Powder X-ray diffraction patterns of mesoporous benzene–silicas.
Figure 2: TEM images, electron diffraction patterns and the resulting structural model of mesoporous benzene–silica.
Figure 3: Structural models of mesoporous benzene–silica.
Figure 4: Model showing the pore surface of mesoporous benzene–silica.


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We thank S. Yamamoto for help in computer simulation of structural models, and S. Hyde for critical reading of the manuscript. O.T. was supported by CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation.

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Correspondence to Shinji Inagaki.

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Inagaki, S., Guan, S., Ohsuna, T. et al. An ordered mesoporous organosilica hybrid material with a crystal-like wall structure. Nature 416, 304–307 (2002).

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