Silica matrices were prepared via acid catalysed sol-gel processing augmented with sonocatalysis. As silica precursors, a mixture of tetra-functionalized alkoxide (TMOS) and three-functionalized alkoxide methyl-trimethoxysilane (MTMS) were employed. Ionic liquid N-butyl-3-methylpyridinium tetrafluoroborate ([bmPy][BF4]), was used in various proportions, aiming to catalyse the sol-gel reactions, and to influence the mesoporous silica materials properties, serving as pore template. Small-angle neutron (SANS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques were used to explore the xerogels and sonogels microstructure evolution as a function of the IL/Si molar ratio. The results show a strong increase of the primary particle size under the influence of the ionic liquid. Ultrasonic agitation leads to further size increase by ca. 10%.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ceramics and Composites