Surface chemistry and structure of silicon oxycarbide gels and glasses
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In this study, the surface chemistry and structure of methyl-substituted silica gels and porous oxycarbide glasses were investigated. FTIR was used to measure the relative concentration of Si−CH3 and Si−OH as a function of the degree of methyl-substitution and the pyrolysis temperature. The gels and glasses were further heated, dehydrated or hydrated, in situ, within the FTIR spectrometer. In the temperature range of 800–850°C, high surface area oxycarbide glasses were created with no detectable surface hydroxyl groups. Oxycarbide glasses synthesized in argon at 700°C displayed a weak band for surface hydroxyl groups and reversible physisorption of water, while those synthesized at 850/900°C showed a complete absence of surface hydroxyl groups and the formation of vicinal silanols upon chemisorption of water. Isolated silanols were observed upon heat treatment in vacuum. Formation of aromatic carbon species was found to correlate with the decomposition of the methyl groups. The oxycarbide surface is quite stable to densification (presumably due to elemental carbon on the pore surfaces). In the absence of oxygen, porous silicon oxycarbide glass powders maintain surface areas >200 m2/g at 1200°C. However, oxidizing species in the atmosphere deplete the aromatic carbon species, and the glasses lose surface area.
Key wordsoxycarbide glass surface hydroxyls infra-red surface area
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