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Prof. Robert Mokaya, University of Nottingham

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Date: 25 March 2015   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

The design and synthesis of structurally well-ordered nanostructured materials is currently attracting a great deal of interest in nanomaterials chemistry. Of particular importance are nanostructured materials with inorganic, organic/inorganic or carbon frameworks that possess considerable ‘internal’ surface area and volume. Examples are zeolites and mesoporous silicates that are synthesised via self-assembly mechanisms whereby suitable organic or other species act as templates for inorganic framework precursors. The talk will present our work on the preparation of ordered mesoporous silicas and their modification to other advanced composite materials. Modifications include the introduction (during direct synthesis or via post-synthesis grafting) of heteroatoms or other species with ‘acidic’, ‘basic’ or ‘organo’ character onto the framework of mesoporous silicas to yield mesostructured solid acid or base materials. We will show that zeolites and porous silicates can themselves be used as solid (hard) templates for the formation of nanoporous carbon by filling organic molecules into the pores of the inorganic solids.[1] At suitably high temperature, the guest organic molecules are converted to carbon. The zeolite/polymer, which acts as a template, is then selectively removed to leave a highly porous carbon. The talk will also describe a variety of synthesis routes to nanoporous carbons for enhanced gas (e.g., hydrogen and CO2) storage.[2]

[1] Z. Yang, Y. Xia and R. Mokaya, Nanoscale, 2, 639, (2010).
[2] M. Sevilla and R. Mokaya, Energy Environ. Sci., 7, 1250, (2014).

Location:  David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Bancroft Building