Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 363–371 | Cite as

Surface structure and reactivity study of phosphotungstic acid-nitrogenated ormosils

  • Elias P. Ferreira-Neto
  • Flavio L. S. de Carvalho
  • Sajjad Ullah
  • Vinicius C. Zoldan
  • André A. Pasa
  • Adriano Lopes de Souza
  • Liliane C. Battirola
  • Petra Rudolf
  • Sara Aldabe Bilmes
  • Ubirajara P. Rodrigues-Filho


Supramolecular interactions between nitrogenated groups in hybrid ormosils bearing phosphotungstate nanocatalyst were used to tune the photocatalytical activity of these class-II hybrid materials obtained through sol–gel chemistry. Surface chemistry and morphology of the materials was studied by scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and water contact angle measurements. The photocatalytic efficiency of these hybrid films, measured by the degradation of crystal violet over-layer deposited on ormosils films, is higher for ormosils bearing neutral, more polar and less H-bonding nitrile groups than those bearing alkylamine/alkylammonium functionalities, despite the lower W/Si atomic ratio on the surface and lower tungsten percentage of the pure nitrile bearing ormosils. Such higher surface reactivity of the nitrile bearing ormosils is due to weaker interaction with the phosphotungstate and the lower activity of amine bearing ormosils is attributed to the competition among reversible photochromism and photocatalysis pathways in these materials.


Ormosil Hybrid materials Phosphotungstic acid XPS Photocatalysis Supramolecular chemistry 



Part of this work was performed within the exchange program of the Instituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen. The authors acknowledge the Panalytical Brazil for XRF measurements. We acknowledge the funding by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Grant # 2011/08120-0 and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) Grant # 479748/2008-0. F.L.S. de Carvalho and E. P. Ferreira Neto thank the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for Brazilian studentships; L.C. Battirola thanks CAPES Grant # 5321-09-3 for the international exchange fellowship Brazil/The Netherlands. S. Ullah thanks the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil) for Ph.D fellowship.

Supplementary material

10971_2013_3018_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4574 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elias P. Ferreira-Neto
    • 1
  • Flavio L. S. de Carvalho
    • 1
  • Sajjad Ullah
    • 1
  • Vinicius C. Zoldan
    • 2
  • André A. Pasa
    • 2
  • Adriano Lopes de Souza
    • 1
  • Liliane C. Battirola
    • 1
    • 3
  • Petra Rudolf
    • 3
  • Sara Aldabe Bilmes
    • 4
  • Ubirajara P. Rodrigues-Filho
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Química de São CarlosUniversidade de São PauloSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Filmes Finos e Superfícies, Departamento de FísicaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Zernike Institute for Advanced MaterialsUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Instituto de Química Física de los Materiales, Facultad Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos Aires, Medio Ambiente y Energía—INQUIMAE, Ciudad UniversitariaBuenos AiresArgentina

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