Synthesis of Diverse Mesoporous Materials by Controlling the Reactivity of Starting Chemicals

– Potential as a mesoscale vessel, with surface property modified pores, for chemical reactions –

Researcher: Tatsuo Kimura, Leader, the Materials for Chemical Transformation Group, the Inorganic Functional Materials Research Institute


A technique has been developed enabling the synthesis of organic-inorganic hybrid mesoporous materials (aluminum benzenephosphonate) with stable and hydrophilic surfaces by controlling the reactivity of the starting chemicals.

Figure 1


Mesoporous materials with regularly arranged pores of 2-50 nm in diameter are used as absorbents, catalyst supports, and so on. Those with hydrophilic surfaces show high affinity towards substances such as oxygen-containing compounds and enzymes, raising expectations that reactions and adsorption/concentration would occur in the pores. However, there have been no mesoporous materials with stable and hydrophilic surfaces. AIST previously developed a technique for the synthesis of such mesoporous materials, but it has been difficult to functionalize the materials through introduction of functional groups.

New outcome

A mesoporous material with stable and hydrophilic surfaces was synthesized by controlling the reactivity through partial substitution of the four ester groups in 1,4-benzenephosphonate ester with low-reactive hydroxyl groups. The introduction of benzene rings enabled the addition of amino groups and sulfonate groups. In addition, it was possible to create diverse mesoporous materials with hydrophilic surfaces that can be modified through substitution of aluminum with titanium and vanadium.

Future development

The researcher will examine the applicability of the developed technique to other metal elements. Phosphonate compounds containing acidic and basic units utilized as corresponding catalysts will be developed, aiming to realize highly functionalized mesoscale reaction vessels.

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