Hierarchical porous silica via solid-phase hydrolysis/polycondensation of cubic siloxane-based molecular units

Kenta Iyoki, Ayae Sugawara-Narutaki, Atsushi Shimojima, Tatsuya Okubo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Hierarchical micro-mesoporous silica has been synthesized by solid-phase conversion of molecular crystals of an alkoxy derivative of a cubic siloxane unit (Si8O12) as a molecular building unit. Seven methoxy groups and one adamantoxy group are introduced in a cage by the reaction of octa(hydridosilsesquioxane) (H8Si8O12) with the corresponding alcohols, which are then eliminated in a step-by-step manner. First, the methoxy groups are hydrolyzed by simply dispersing the precursor powder in an acidic aqueous solution. The formation of Si-O-Si linkages between the cages while retaining the bulky adamantoxy groups is confirmed by solid-state NMR. At this stage, broad mesopores (ca. 2 to 7 nm) are formed, as confirmed by nitrogen adsorption-desorption. The adamantoxy groups are then removed by calcination to generate relatively narrow micropores (∼1 nm in diameter). Various control experiments performed suggest that the stepwise solid-phase reaction of bifunctional building blocks is crucial to the formation of such micro-mesoporous silica, providing a new pathway to nanoporous materials with controlled architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-676
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 21
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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