Synthesis and characterisation of ordered mesoporous materials
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Ordered mesoporous materials have attracted much attention recently for use in a wide range of applications. The oxidising materials, ceria (CeO₂) and CGO (Ce₀.₉Gd₀.₁O[subscript(2-δ)]) have both been synthesised with ordered mesopores, but a method for the simple fabrication of these materials in high yields with crystalline pore walls has not yet been reported in the literature. This thesis details the development of the vacuum impregnation method for the synthesis of ordered mesoporous materials with emphasis on ceria and CGO. Using the vacuum impregnation method both materials were successfully prepared. The materials exhibited the porous single crystal morphology in high yields, with unusual crystallographic features. Nitrogen physisorption, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), TEM tomography and temperature programmed studies were employed. Temperature programmed studies showed the materials to be catalytically active at lower temperatures than traditionally-prepared ceria. Photovoltaic studies showed that the materials exhibited efficient exciton quenching. The observation of nanowire extrusion during the synthetic procedure assisted in the postulation of a mechanism for product formation in the vacuum impregnation method. The vacuum impregnation method was subsequently shown to be applicable to the synthesis of other materials, with encouraging results presented for ordered mesoporous carbon and Zr₀.₈₄Y₀.₁₆O[subscript(2-δ)]. The syntheses of ordered mesoporous La₀.₈₅Sr₀.₁₅GaO[subscript(3-δ)] and La₀.₇₆Sr₀.₁₉CoO[subscript(3-δ)] were unsuccessful.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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