Year of Publication


Document Type





Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen E. Rankin


This dissertation addresses three research areas in the sol-gel synthesis of functionalmaterials. The first is the kinetics of hydrolysis and condensation of variousorganoalkoxysilanes. Two mathematical models are developed for the sol-gel reaction inbasic conditions with and without nearest-neighbor effects. Effects on reactivity aremeasured with systematic changes in the organic group structure. Replacing onemethoxy group on the precursor with a methyl group decelerates hydrolysis under basicconditions, but accelerates condensation under acidic conditions. Replacing two methylfunctionalprecursors with one ethylene-bridged precursor accelerates hydrolysis in base,but decelerates condensation in acid. Replacing an ethylene bridge with a hexylenebridge always decelerates the sol-gel reactions. Adding an amine into the hexylenebridge always accelerates the sol-gel reactions. These trends show inductive effectsplaying a role only under basic conditions, while steric effects play a role at all pHvalues. The second topic of this thesis is the synthesis of organic-inorganic materialswith bridging or non-bridging organics. The structure of the organic-inorganic hybrids ispartially correlated with the kinetics of the precursors, but the trends indicate anadditional structural role of siloxane cyclization. The third topic of this thesis is thesynthesis of surfactant-templated nanoporous particles. The key to preparing orderedhybrid materials is found to be encouraging aggregation with a surfactant whilediscouraging random condensation of silanes independent of the surfactants. Ahomologous series of cationic pyridinium chloride fluorinated surfactants with varyingchain length are used as pore templates. Typical pore structures such as hexagonal closepackedcylinders are synthesized, as well as new pore structures including random meshphase pores and vesicular silica particles with bilayer or multilayer shells.Fluorosurfactants enable the formation of unusually small pores (1.6 nm) and poresformed from discs or bilayers. In the presence of ethanol, spherical particles with radiallyoriented pores are shown by TEM to form by precipitation of disordered silica-surfactantparticles followed by assembly into organized structures. High-capacity hollow particleswith ordered mesoporous shells are prepared by dual latex / surfactant templating.Finally, we load amine-functionalized mesoporous silica with highly dispersedsuperparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.