/Electrochemical precipitation and characterization of hybrid mesoporous silica

Electrochemical precipitation and characterization of hybrid mesoporous silica

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

A material to hunt for hydrogen and to boost your battery
Hybrid organic-inorganic thin film coatings have become an inherent part of novel nano-structured electrodes applied for either electrochemical storage or conversion. These thin film coatings aid in surface adsorption, ionic conduction and often require meso(micro)porosity to gain access to the underlying electrode. In this thesis, electrochemically induced precipitation (EIP) will be employed to deposit mesoporous silica thin films.


EIP of silica largely relies on sol-gel chemistry to produce ordered mesoporous thin films using a surfactant template and is a very well-established field of research. The template can then be removed to get hexagonally arranged vertical nano-channels that provide access to the underlying electrode. This process works by starting with a sol-gel precursor into which a three-electrode setup is immersed. Applying a voltage to the working electrode generates OH- ions which catalyze the condensation of mesoporous silica. Often in literature, CTAB is used as the surfactant template to achieve the mesoporosity. However, it would be interesting to use other templating agents such as ionic liquids for example.


In this master thesis, you will work on ionic liquid templated mesoporous silica. Investigations will be conducted on in-situ/ex-situ integration of ionic liquid into the porous silica matrix, focusing mainly on impregnating ionic liquid into the ordered pores of the classical silica-CTAB system. This will be further characterized by FTIR/Raman spectroscopy. In the duration of this project, you will learn fundamentals of electrochemistry, application of a three-electrode setup, work with various characterization tools such as SEM, FTIR, Raman and be a part of an interactive research environment.

Type of project: Thesis, Internship

Duration: 1 year

Required degree: Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Venkataramana Rishikesan (Venkataramana.Rishikesan@imec.be) and Genis Vanheusden (Genis.Vanheusden@imec.be)

Only for self-supporting students.

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