Dynamics in hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecular chains tethered to MCM41-type mesoporous silica upon wetting and dehydration processes.


Department of Chemistry, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 5290002, Israel. Electronic address: [Email]


Surface modified mesoporous silica materials are important materials for heterogeneous catalysis and are attracting attention as potential drug carriers. The functionality of these materials relies on the physical and chemical properties of the tethers attached to MCM41 silica surface. These chemically linked tails act as molecular brushes, that can capture pollutant molecules, anchor points for catalysts and can host drug molecules. To utilize the full potential of the tailored silica surfaces, one should infer their properties at different levels of solvation. Here, 1H MAS NMR spectroscopy is used to monitor the dynamic properties of two modified MCM41 materials, an aminopropyl tethered MCM41 and an octyl tethered MCM41, through the process of controlled hydration. The surface site resolved measurements demonstrate how the chemical nature of the two tethers governs the way water molecules are directed to the different sites in the porous materials.