Silica templating approach for in-column radical polymerisation of low domain size polymer monoliths.

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

This project intends to use HPLC columns packed with porous silica material as templates for incolumn

polymerization. Preliminary work showed that it is possible to polymerize styrene and

divinylbenzene in the pores of C18 material packed in an HPLC column. When using ODS material

with broader 1000Ä pores inter-connections between the particles appear. The goal of this project is

to work out these observations to be able to make monolithic columns for HPLC with improved

order and therefore higher separation efficiency. In the first inner pore polymerization approach

thermally initiated radical polymerization is performed in the hydrophobic pores of, and at the

connection points between, particles. The particles are in this mode surrounded by water. Reaction

is started by heating the column above the dissociation temperature of the initiator. After the

reaction the particles can selectively be removed in a 20% NaOH solution, leaving only the

monolithic structure behind. In the complimentary through pore polymerization approach the pores

of native silica are filled with water and thermally initiated polymerization is performed in the

through pores only. This strategy is compatible with radical and ionic (resin type) polymerization

approaches offering promise for obtaining mechanically more stable polymer monoliths with

smaller domain sizes. All columns and manufactured materials will be evaluated in a fundamental

and practical way in the two research groups, respectively.