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Optimized Multiply-Functionalized Mesostructured Materials


Background: Porous inorganic solids can be functionalized with novel properties by incorporating multiple functionalities in the materials. The syntheses of these materials typically follow “one-pot” protocols which require all of the functionalities to be incorporated simultaneously during self-assembly and the formation of the inorganic network. These synthesis conditions rely on the collective compatibilities of the multiple components which often limit the extent and diversity of the functional species that can be introduced. While organic functionalization of mesoporous inorganic materials is possible no current approaches exist for combining the wide range of organic compound properties with the robust thermal and mechanical stabilities of inorganic solids. Technology Description: Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara have recently developed systems and methods of synthesizing multiply-functionalized materials. The novel synthesis consists of two sequential steps that overcome many of the previous limitations from “one-pot” approaches. After block-copolymer-directed mesostructured solids are synthesized post-synthesis grafting methods are used to anchor ion-conducting organic species to the silica surfaces of the inorganic material. The additional steps functionalize the materials without affecting the mesostructural ordering of the silica support. Sequential processing of multiply-functionalized mesoporous films is shown to yield materials that are compositionally and structurally heterogeneous on both mesoscopic and molecular length scales. By controlling both length scales novel films with ion-conduction properties can sustain high proton-conductivity in fuel cells operating above 120˚ C without being affected by CO poisoning and membrane dehydration. Applications: 1) Fuel Cells 2) Batteries


1) Proton-conductivity at high temperatures (>120˚ C) 2) Optimized mesostructural ordering in functionalized materials

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