The molecular precursor approach to control the morphology of Co₃O₄ on support materials
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In this project, the TMP method was employed to produce “active sites.” These active sites are for influencing and controlling the Co₃O₄ growth. One of the aims was to investigate what effect the grafting of the molecular precursor has on the nature and distribution of active sites on the various support materials. The second aim was to investigate the effect an increase in molecular precursor loading, in various impregnation steps, has on the nature and distribution of the active sites. The third aim was to investigate the effect of the steric constraints of ligand groups, by changing the molecular precursor, on the nature and distribution of active sites. The fourth aim was to use the different aspects discussed above and apply them to investigate what effect the above-mentioned modifications have on Co₃O₄ morphology. While another aim was to investigated what effect varying the quantity of Co(NO₃)₂•6H₂O has on Co₃O₄ morphology. Lastly, we investigated what effect varying the impregnation procedure and calcination temperature have on the Co₃O₄ morphology. The effect the support has on the phase of titanium molecular precursor was investigated using molecular precursor, ⁱPrOTi[OSi(O[superscript(t)]Bu₃)]₃. The supports used were Silica 922, NanoDur, Aerosil 200, Stöber spherical silica, SBA-15, mod MCM-41 and sMCM-41. The molecular precursor ⁱPrOTi[OSi(O[superscript(t)]Bu₃)]₃ was revealed to be in the orthorhombic TiO₂ with space group P(cab), normal brookite lattice, on Silica 922 after calcination but only an isolated area displaying this morphology. Generally we do not observe any TiO₂ on the support, which indicates that we have produce site-isolated sites, suggesting the TMP method has been successful on all of the various supports. The emphasis is placed on the effect of this molecular precursor and the respective support has on the Co₃O₄ morphology in Chapter 3. In this Chapter, a unique morphology was observed on Silica 922 which showed Co₃O₄ nanorods of cubic Co₃O₄ in the space group Fd-3m. Silica 922 was used for the remainder of the thesis to investigate the effect the quantity of molecular precursor has on the nature of active sites and Co₃O₄ morphology in Chapter 4. This support was also used to investigate the effect the amount of Co(NO₃)₂•6H₂O has on Co₃O₄ morphology in Chapter 5. This support was lastly used to investigate the steric constraints of the ligand groups, Ti[OSi(O[superscript(t)]Bu)₃]₄ (TiSi4), ⁱPrOTi[OSi(O[superscript(t)]Bu)₃]₃ (TiSi3), (OtBu)₃TiOSi(O[superscript(t)]Bu)₃ (TiSi) and the least sterically constrained Ti(OⁱPr)₄ has on the loading of precursor and Co₃O₄ morphology in Chapter 6.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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