Active organosilicas with ion selectivity
An all in one approach for preparing ion-selective mesoporous organosilica structures has been developed.
Markus Antonietti and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany and the University of Toronto in Canada have devised a method to increase the number of accessible reactive sites in mesoporous structures.
Amino groups reside on the pore wall surface
Their synthesis incorporates the maximum possible number of amino groups into an organosilica. The majority of the groups are made available for binding to ions by being positioned at the surface of the pore walls.
While measuring the number of accessible amine groups using Cu(ii) binding experiments, the researchers found that the newly made materials showed varying selectivity for Cu(ii) ions depending on the counter ion present. Antonietti hopes the discovery might lead to the development of a new anion-specific exchange process.
R Voss et al, J. Mater. Chem., 2005 (DOI: 10.1039/b507084h)