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Silica-Gel-Confined Ionic Liquids: A New Attempt for the Development of Supported Nanoliquid Catalysis
石峰 / 邓友全
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A new concept of designing and synthesizing highly dispersed ionic-liquid catalysts was developed through physical confinement or encapsulation of ionic liquids (with or without metal complex) in a silica-gel matrix through a sol-gel process. We studied ionic liquids such as EMImBF4, BuMImBF4, DMImBF4, CMImBF4, BuMImPF6, either with or without [Pd(PPh3)2Cl2] and [Rh(PPh3)3Cl], in a silica-gel matrix (E=ethyl, Bu=butyl M=methyl, D=decyl, C=cetyl and Im=imidazolium). The contents of ionic liquids and loadings of Pd or Rh were 8-53 wt % and 0.10.15 wt %, respectively. Analyses of FT-Raman spectra showed that abnormal Raman spectra of the confined ionic liquids were observed in comparison with the bulk and pure ionic liquids. EMImBF4 and BuMImBF4 ionic liquids could be completely washed out from the silica-gel matrix under vigorous reflux conditions, but ionic liquids with larger molecular size, for example, DMImBF4 or CMImBF4, could be confined into the silica-gel nanopores relatively firmly. These results suggested that the ionic liquids were physically confined or encapsulated into the silica gel. The N2 adsorption measurements indicated that the silica-gel skeleton was mesoporous with 50-110 ? pore size after the BuMImBF4 ionic liquid was removed completely. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis showed that the silica-gel matrix was amorphous and non-uniformly mesoporous. Carbonylation of aniline and nitrobenzene for synthesis of diphenyl urea, carbonylation of aniline for synthesis of carbamates, and oxime transformation between cyclohexanone oxime and acetone were used as test reactions for these catalysts. Catalytic activities were remarkably enhanced with much lower amounts of ionic liquids needed with respect to bulk ionic-liquid catalysts or silica-supported ionic-liquid catalysts prepared with simple impregnation, in which the ionic liquid may be deposited as a thin layer on the support. Such unusual enhancement in catalytic activities may be attributed to the formation of nanoscale and high-concentration ionic liquids due to the confinement of the ionic liquid in silica gel; this results in unusual changes in the symmetry and coordination geometry of the ionic liquids.

★★★★☆ Keywords: carbonylation · catalysis· ionic liquids · nanotechnology ·synthesis design

★★★★☆ Chem. Eur. J. 2005, 11, 5279 – 5288