An eco-friendly, tunable and scalable method for producing porous functional nanomaterials designed using molecular interactions

Joseph R. H. Manning, Thomas W. S. Yip, Alessia Centi, Miguel Jorge, Siddharth V. Patwardhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite significant improvements in the synthesis of templated silica materials, post-synthesis purification remains highly expensive and renders the materials industrially unviable. In this study we address this issue for porous bioinspired silica, developing a rapid room-temperature solution method for complete extraction of organic additives. Using elemental analysis and N2 and CO2 adsorption, we demonstrate the ability to both purify and controllably tailor the composition, porosity and surface chemistry of bioinspired silica in a single step. For the first time we have modelled the extraction using molecular dynamics, revealing the removal mechanism is dominated by surface-charge interactions. We extend this to other additive chemistry, leading to a wider applicability of the method to other materials. Finally we estimate the environmental benefits of our new method compared with previous purification techniques, demonstrating significant improvements in sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1683–1691
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Early online date24 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2017


  • bioinspired
  • green nanomaterials
  • manufacturing
  • porous materials

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