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Dalton Trans. 2013 Feb 7;42(5):1591-602. doi: 10.1039/c2dt31835k. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Mesostructured fatty acid-tethered silicas: sustaining the order by co-templating with bulky precursors.

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  • 1Institute of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (iNANOTECH), Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (MAScIR), ENSET, Avenue de l'Armée Royale, Madinate Al Irfane, Rabat, Morocco.


The co-condensation of functional alkoxysilanes with tetraethoxysilane in the presence of a structure directing agent under sol-gel process chemistry is a common way to access functional organosilica with an ordered mesostructure. In this report, bulky silylated fatty acid methyl esters were used both as co-templating bio-molecules and functionalizing agents in the process of supra-molecular silica mineralization. The highest structural regularity in terms of pore size distribution and channel size homogeneity was observed for carboxy-tethered silica possessing SBA-15-type architecture due to an enhanced fatty acid precursor-surfactant interaction. The carboxylic surface embedded within the hydrophobic environment of the fatty compounds confers to these materials interesting reactive-surface properties with promising applications as drug-delivery systems and bio-catalytic nanoreactors.

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