Seed Funding Project 1
Synthesis of organic-inorganic microtubes with mesoporous channels and tunable geometry for heterogeneous catalysis
Principal Investigator: Dr. Petia Atanasova
Organic-inorganic or pure inorganic microtubes with mesoporous channels and tunable geometry shall be prepared as catalyst supports for molecular heterogeneous catalysis. To do this, a template with tube-like pores will be used. The assembled organic part of the hybrid microtubes should serve further as a template for the deposition of the inorganic material, presented by various oxides and produced applying mild reaction conditions. Catalyst molecules shall be selectively attached on the inner tube walls using “click” chemistry. The influence of the confinement on the mineralization mechanism of the deposited oxides as well as on the investigated heterogeneous catalytic reactions will be studied.
Seed Funding Project 2
Influence of ionic-liquids and confinement on organometallic catalysts
Principal Investigator: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Maria Fyta
This project targets the possibility for a linker-free immobilization of catalysts in a pore through the supported ionic liquid phase technology. It is dedicated in providing insight on the role of ionic liquids (ILs) on the confinement of catalysts in nanopores. Through computer simulations, information will be gained on the influence of steric and IL-specific effects, the structuring of a varying solvent environment, the pore functionality/polarity, and their synergistic interactions with the catalytic center. The aim is to promote a deeper understanding on the micro-details for a rational design of the catalyst immobilization and the relevant conditions.
Seed Funding Project 3
“Isotactic Pluronics” – A tool for the stabilization of micellar phases and advanced mesopore design
Amphiphilic “Pluronic-type” block-copolyethers play a key role in projects A4 (mesoporous silica) and A6 (mesoporous carbon) of CRC 1333. For templating, both projects rely on the structure-directing properties of either their micellar or liquid crystalline solutions. These structures, however, are quite sensitive, e.g. to the addition of reactants such as silica or carbon precursors. Thus, the aim of this study is to improve micellar stability by the preparation of block-copolyethers with isotactic-enriched PPO-moieties (e.g., it-PPO-b-PEO-b–it-PPO). Improved PPO-packing, which strengthens hydrophobic interactions, is envisioned to enhance control and reproducibility of the templating process. For a systematic investigation, block-copolyethers are synthesized with gradually increasing tacticity, from fully atactic to fully isotactic materials. The tacticity is to be correlated with micelle stability, shape and size. In further steps the lyotropic liquid crystalline phase behaviour and the impact on the templated materials will be examined.