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Langmuir. 2013 Oct 1;29(39):12243-53. doi: 10.1021/la402205j. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Recyclable functionalization of silica with alcohols via dehydrogenative addition on hydrogen silsesquioxane.

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Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University , Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Synthesis of class II hybrid silica materials requires the formation of covalent linkage between organic moieties and inorganic frameworks. The requirement that organosilylating agents be present to provide the organic part limits the synthesis of functional inorganic oxides, however, due to the water sensitivity and challenges concerning purification of the silylating agents. Synthesis of hybrid materials with stable molecules such as simple alcohols, rather than with these difficult silylating agents, may therefore provide a path to unprecedented functionality. Herein, we report the novel functionalization of silica with organic alcohols for the first time. Instead of using hydrolyzable organosilylating agents, we used stable organic alcohols with a Zn(II) catalyst to modify the surface of a recently discovered highly reactive macro-mesoporous hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ, HSiO1.5) monolith, which was then treated with water with the catalyst to form surface-functionalized silica. These materials were comprehensively characterized with FT-IR, Raman, solid-state NMR, fluorescence spectroscopy, thermal analysis, elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and nitrogen adsorption-desorption measurements. The results obtained from these measurements reveal facile immobilization of organic moieties by dehydrogenative addition onto surface silane (Si-H) at room temperature with high loading and good tolerance of functional groups. The organic moieties can also be retrieved from the monoliths for recycling and reuse, which enables cost-effective and ecological use of the introduced catalytic/reactive surface functionality. Preservation of the reactivity of as-immobilized organic alcohols has been confirmed, moreover, by successfully performing copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) "click" reactions on the immobilized silica surfaces.

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