Polyoxometalates-rich micelles: functionalised mesoporous materials
The aim of this PhD proposal is to develop the synthesis and characterisation of new functional polyion complex (PIC) micelles formed by electrostatic complexation between a charged double hydrophilic block copolymer (DHBC) and an oppositely charged polyelectrolyte. The functional DHBC envisaged, PEO-b-POMs, will comprise a poly(ethylene oxide) block and a block grafted with polyoxometalates (POMs). POMs are metal anionic nanoclusters with promising properties, especially as catalysts or UV-absorbers. The PIC micelles, once characterised using small angle scattering techniques, will be used as structure-directing agents of mesoporous silica materials following a sol gel route from molecular silica precursors. The method will permit the formation of porous organised materials functionalised with POMs at the pore surface. The material porous texture and POMs localisation will be evidenced by SAXS and SANS respectively, while in situ studies of the material synthesis will permit unravelling the formation mechanisms of the materials.