Dr P. C. Marr
MSc (University of Aberdeen) 1995
PhD (University of St. Andrews) 1998
Tel: + 44 (0) 28 9097 4740
Fax: + 44 (0) 28 9097 6524
Currently investigating the use of non traditional, solvents and templates in the preparation of sol-gel derived metal oxides and hybrid materials. These materials are being applied to a range of applications. The use of non volatile templates opens new possibilities in effect material design, new composites and hybrids prepared using low temperature routes, low volatility chemicals and gels. Actives such as colloids, nanoparticles and metal complexes are incorporated.
Modified gel methods have been used to prepare inorganic oxides containing metal colloids within their nano-pores. These materials were tested as heterogeneous catalysts for C-C coupling and hydrogenation. When using ionic liquids as the template ionogels can be formed, (inorganic oxides with ionic liquid retained within the matrix.)
Working with a homogeneous catalytic chemist Andy Marr we have incorporated a homogeneous catalyst within an ionogel material. The catalytic properties of these catalytic ionogels are remarkable high activity and selectivities have been demonstrated for hydrogenation reactions. Materials preparation involves the growth of a semi-permeable physical barrier around the metal which prevents its loss and allows the free diffusion of substrate and product, this method is entrapment.
The use of organogels as templates for the sol-gel preparation of metal oxides is also being studied. Organogels are organic molecules which have the ability to form a gel in a solvent. Typically an organic molecule is dissolved in a solvent and heated. On cooling the organic molecules organise into a structure which traps the solvent in a 3D network leading to the formation of a gel. Gels form in many different structures. It is possible to use these gels as a template for the formation of metal oxides via the sol-gel route.
Other areas of interest :- Biocompatability, electronics, energy.