The MESOPIC project will develop a new path to multifunctional mesoporous materials, which limits the number of steps and allows recycling of the templates.
It relies on the design of micellar structuring agents reversibly assembled by electrostatic complexation (Poly Ions Complexation) of double-hydrophilic block copolymers (DHBC) and an oppositely charged polyelectrolyte (micellization agent). Hybrid mesoctructured materials are obtained by coprecipitation of silica around these PIC micelles. By the end of the inorganic condensation, the micellization agent is eluted (rather than calcined !) for generating the porosity while all DHBC or part of them remain in the final material and functionalize it.
Suitable DHBC will be synthesized, the first block of which carries the functional groups of interest for the final material (for instance acidic groups, or precursors of carbenes), while the other block, which is neutral, imparts strong anchoring to silica. Functionalized mesoporous materials will be synthesized and characterized with regards to structure, porosity and functionalization ratio. Their catalytic performances will be tested and compared with benchmark. Through judicious formulation of the components of the PIC micelles and modifications of the physico-chemical conditions of elution of the micellization agent, this new synthetic path should allow tuning the functionalization ratio and lead more easily to the optimized compromise between functionality and accessibility of the pores. Moreover, it should allow combining various functionalities (acidic groups of different strength) inside a single material and pave the way to intensified processes.
Success of the project needs good control of the synthesis of the functional copolymers, proper control of the reversibility of the PIC micelles formation, better understanding of their lyotropic behavior and last, it relies on the capacity of different DHBC of the same charge to form mixed micelles in the presence of an oppositely charged polyelectrolyte. That is why the project includes basic physico-chemical studies, both experimental and theoretical ones, regarding phase behavior of DHBC complexes, composition and internal structure of the mixed PIC micelles as well as their stability.
MESOPIC project is carried by the Institut Charles Gerhardt in Montpellier, two teams of which are involved: the first one for its expertise in polymer chemistry, the second one in the synthesis of mesoporosus materials and catalysis, the second one for its expertise in polymer chemistry. Experimental physical-chemistry studies will be managed by researchers from the Institut de Biochimie Max Mousseron and from the Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, both in Montpellier. Moreover the project will benefit from the expertise in polymer physcis of a theoretician at IPREM in Pau.
Funding by ANR over 48 months would be dedicated for more than its half to hire two PhD students for experimental work and one post-doc for the theoretical part.
Madame Corine GERARDIN (Institut Charles Gerhardt)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
UMR5253 Institut Charles Gerhardt
UMR5221 Laboratoire Charles Coulomb
UMR5247 Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron
Help of the ANR 500,661 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2015 - 48 Months