The role of heteroelement containing functional groups on surface modification. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022


Metal oxides possess a high chemical and mechanical stability making them ideal support materials in several applications like catalysis and separations. Unfortunately, metal oxides don't have controllable selective interactions as only hydroxyl groups are present on the surface. Organic surface modification can solve this, creating versatility and affinity. The unique way of coupling the organic functional group to the inorganic matrix influences the properties of both the surface and bulk. The resulting surface interactions created in the hybrid metal oxides critically depend on the particular physico-chemical and structural properties of the metal oxide, the type of functional organic group, the modification method used (Grignard modification or organophosphonic acid (PA) grafting) and the synthesis conditions applied. These high potential organically surface modified materials can open new opportunities in affinity driven separation processes, catalysis, sensing and many other applications if their structural properties can be tailor made and adjusted to the application. Nevertheless, thorough fundamental insights in the influence of synthesis/modifications conditions and reagent types on these physico-chemical surface properties and the resulting interactions between surface and surrounding molecules is lacking, certainly for functional groups other than aliphatic hydrocarbons. This is exactly the aim of this work: it focuses on the impact of the metal oxide support on the interaction with nitrogen containing aromatic and aliphatic organic functional groups. Both PA and Grignard modification will be studied with a main focus on the differences induced in physico-chemical properties due to the N heteroelement. The impact of synthesis conditions, physicochemical properties of the metal oxide, type of modification method and functional groups on the physico-chemical surface properties are being unraveled allowing controlled surface properties. This DOCPRO4 will thus create the crucial fundamental knowledge to correlate synthetic control to physico-chemical properties and molecular interactions of organophosphonic acid and Grignard modified metal oxides.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project