Thick silicate film by an interfacial polymerization
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A thick silica gel film, corresponding to the glass film of 10–20 micron in thickness, has been formed at the interface between two immiscible liquids, hexane and water, using E-40, a partially polymerized silicon alkoxide, as the precursor. The film formation was possible using both acid- and base-catalyzed water, but was greatly dependent on the type of catalyst. Only the trace of a film was observed for the system catalyzed with a strong electrolyte such as HCl, HNO3 or NaOH, while a gel film, corresponding to the glass film of several to 10 micron in thickness was formed with a weak electrolyte such as ammonia, organic acid like acetic acid, citric acid, etc., of similar pH value. The direct introduction of organic base catalyst like triethylamine in hexane was much more effective than the use of ammonia water, suggesting that the polymerization of E-40 to form a gel film takes place in the organic phase, where water molecules, as well as undissociated ammonia or organic acids, can diffuse in.
Keywordsthick film interfacial polymerization film formation mechanism catalyst
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