[en] The incorporation of an additive during sol-gel synthesis reduces shinkage during ambient drying. The following additives have been studied: 3-,(2-aminoethylamino)propyltrimethoxysilane (EDAS), 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (AES) and 3-(2-aminoethylamino)propyltriethoxysilane (EDAES) and the main silica precursors were tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and tetrapropylorthosilicate (TPOS). When the additive contains methoxy groups (EDAS), it acts as a nucleation agent of the silica particles and exactly the same properties (pore volume, specific surface area, particle and aggregate size) are obtained whether the main reagent is TEOS or TPOS. The nucleation mechanism is based on the difference in reactivity between additive and main reagent. In case of nucleation by the additive, the nucleation agent fixes the properties whatever the main silica precursor is. When both the additive and the main reagent contain ethoxy groups (series AES-TEOS and EDAES-TEOS), there is no nucleation mechanism by the additive, and the silica particle size remains nearly constant. With less reactive main reagent (series AES-TPOS and EDAES-TPOS), pore volumes up to 17 cm(3)/g have been obtained with pore sizes up to nearly 10 pm and very big particles (similar to100 nm). The absence of nucleation by the additive for the couples AES-TPOS and EDAES-TPOS could be due to the fact that the difference in reactivity between ethoxy groups and propoxy groups is not sufficient to initiate the nucleation mechanism by the additive. In the absence of nucleation by the additive, the main reagent plays a role: highly porous materials with very large p. ores are prepared with TPOS. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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