Well-ordered cubic mesoporous silicas SBA-1 functionalized with thiol groups have been synthesized via co-condensation of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTMS) templated by cetyltriethylammonium bromide (CTEABr) under strongly acidic conditions. Various synthesis parameters such as HCl concentration, synthesis temperature, and time for hydrothermal treatment were systematically investigated as a function of MPTMS contents. The materials thus obtained were characterized by a variety of techniques including powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), solid-state 13C and 29Si NMR spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and nitrogen sorption measurements. Direct evidence of the presence of chemically attached thiol moieties was provided by solid-state 29Si and 13C NMR spectroscopy. A high degree of structural ordering was still retained when MPTMS loading was incorporated up to 20 mol% in the synthesis mixture. Increasing the synthesis temperature and the time for the hydrothermal treatment not only increased the degree of framework cross-linking, but also did not lead to the undesirable phase transformation as often observed in the conventional synthesis of pure silica SBA-1. SEM results reveal that the morphology of thiol-functionalized SBA-1 depends on the HCl concentration used in the synthesis. The sample prepared with a low acid concentration exhibits a highly isotropic morphology with more facets than that of pure silica SBA-1, whereas it changes to a spherical shape as the acid concentration is increased. The maximum content of the attached thiol group (-SH) in the mesoporous framework is 2.39 mmol/g. The thiol-functionalized SBA-1 mesoporous materials are efficient Hg2+ adsorbents.
- Mesoporous organosilica
- Thiol functionalization