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1.  Nanostructured, mesoporous Au/TiO2 model catalysts – structure, stability and catalytic properties 
Summary
Aiming at model systems with close-to-realistic transport properties, we have prepared and studied planar Au/TiO2 thin-film model catalysts consisting of a thin mesoporous TiO2 film of 200–400 nm thickness with Au nanoparticles, with a mean particle size of ~2 nm diameter, homogeneously distributed therein. The systems were prepared by spin-coating of a mesoporous TiO2 film from solutions of ethanolic titanium tetraisopropoxide and Pluronic P123 on planar Si(100) substrates, calcination at 350 °C and subsequent Au loading by a deposition–precipitation procedure, followed by a final calcination step for catalyst activation. The structural and chemical properties of these model systems were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), N2 adsorption, inductively coupled plasma ionization spectroscopy (ICP–OES) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The catalytic properties were evaluated through the oxidation of CO as a test reaction, and reactivities were measured directly above the film with a scanning mass spectrometer. We can demonstrate that the thin-film model catalysts closely resemble dispersed Au/TiO2 supported catalysts in their characteristic structural and catalytic properties, and hence can be considered as suitable for catalytic model studies. The linear increase of the catalytic activity with film thickness indicates that transport limitations inside the Au/TiO2 film catalyst are negligible, i.e., below the detection limit.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.63
PMCID: PMC3190629  PMID: 22003465
Au catalysis; Au/TiO2; CO oxidation; gold nanoparticles; model catalysts; thin-film catalyst
2.  Inorganic–organic hybrid materials through post-synthesis modification: Impact of the treatment with azides on the mesopore structure 
Summary
Hybrid, hierarchically organized, monolithic silica gels, comprising periodically arranged mesopores and a cellular macroscopic network, have been prepared through a co-condensation reaction of tetrakis(2-hydroxyethyl)orthosilicate with chloromethyl-trimethoxysilane or 3-(chloropropyl)-triethoxysilane. Subsequent conversion of the chloro groups into azido groups, by nucleophilic substitution with NaN3 in N,N-dimethylformamide, was conducted upon preservation of the monolithic structure. However, treatment with NaN3 had a strong influence on the structure in the mesoporous regime, with changes such as an increase of mesopore diameter, pore volume and lattice constants, as well as a concomitant decrease of the pore wall thickness, as confirmed by small angle X-ray scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and nitrogen sorption analysis. Similar effects were observed for unmodified silica gels by simple ageing in azide-containing media, whether a relatively small or a sterically demanding counter ion (Na+ or (H3C)4N+) was used. The structural modification did not seem to depend greatly on whether an organic aprotic solvent (N,N-dimethylformamide, 1,1,3,3-tetramethylurea, 1,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone) or a protic solvent that can form hydrogen bonds, such as water, was used.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.52
PMCID: PMC3190618  PMID: 22003454
inorganic–organic hybrid materials; mesoporous materials; nucleophilic substitution; silica; sol–gel chemistry

Results 1-2 (2)