Ionic liquid-templated preparation of mesoporous silica embedded with nanocrystalline sulfated zirconia
Laboratory for Advanced Catalysis for Sustainability, School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney, Bldg. F11, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:192 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-192Published: 2 March 2011
A series of mesoporous silicas impregnated with nanocrystalline sulphated zirconia was prepared by a sol-gel process using an ionic liquid-templated route. The physicochemical properties of the mesoporous sulphated zirconia materials were studied using characterisation techniques such as inductively coupled optical emission spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis, elemental analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Analysis of the new silicas indicates isomorphous substitution of silicon with zirconium and reveals the presence of extremely small (< 10 nm) polydispersed zirconia nanoparticles in the materials with zirconium loadings from 27.77 to 41.4 wt.%.