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Ionic liquid-templated preparation of mesoporous silica embedded with nanocrystalline sulfated zirconia

Antony J Ward, Ajit A Pujari, Lorenzo Costanzo, Anthony F Masters and Thomas Maschmeyer*

Author Affiliations

Laboratory for Advanced Catalysis for Sustainability, School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney, Bldg. F11, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:192  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-192

Published: 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.%.