Characterization of Methyltrimethoxysilane Sol-Gel Polymerization and the Resulting Aerogels.

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Methyl-functionalized porous silica is of considerable interest as a low dielectric constant film for semiconductor devices. The structural development of these materials appears to affect their gelation behaviors and impact their mechanical properties and shrinkage during processing. 29Si solution NMR was used to follow the structural evolution of MTMS (methyltrimethoxysilane) polymerization to gelation or precipitation, and thus to better understand the species that affect these properties and gelation behaviors. The effects of pH, water concentration, type of solvents, and synthesis procedures (single step acid catalysis and two-step acid/base catalysis) on MTMS polymerization were discussed. The reactivity of silicon species with ... continued below

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Dong, Hanjiang August 2003.

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  • Dong, Hanjiang

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Methyl-functionalized porous silica is of considerable interest as a low dielectric constant film for semiconductor devices. The structural development of these materials appears to affect their gelation behaviors and impact their mechanical properties and shrinkage during processing. 29Si solution NMR was used to follow the structural evolution of MTMS (methyltrimethoxysilane) polymerization to gelation or precipitation, and thus to better understand the species that affect these properties and gelation behaviors. The effects of pH, water concentration, type of solvents, and synthesis procedures (single step acid catalysis and two-step acid/base catalysis) on MTMS polymerization were discussed. The reactivity of silicon species with different connectivity and the extent of cyclization were found to depend appreciably on the pH value of the sol. A kinetic model is presented to treat the reactivity of both silicon species involved in condensations separately based on the inductive and steric effects of these silicon species. Extensive cyclization in the presence of acid, which was attributed to the steric effects among numerous reaction pathways for the first time, prevents MTMS gelation, whereas gels were obtained from the two-step method with nearly random condensations. The experimental degree of condensation (DC) at the gel point using the two-step procedure was determined to be 0.86, which is considerably higher than that predicted by the current accepted theories. Both chemical and physical origins of this high value were suggested.
Aerogels dried by supercritical CO2 extraction were characterized by FTIR, 13C and 29Si solid-state NMR and nitrogen sorption. The existence of three residual groups (Si-OH, Si-OCH3, and Si-OC2H5) was confirmed, but their concentrations are very low compared to silica aerogels. The low concentrations of the residual groups, along with the presence of Si-CH3, make MTMS aerogels permanently hydrophobic. To enhance applicability, MTMS aerogels were successfully prepared that demonstrated shrinkage less than 10% after supercritical drying; proving that the rigidity of the gel network is not the sole factor, suggesting in the literature, to cause the huge shrinkage in many hybrid aerogels reported. An important finding of this work is that MTMS aerogels can be prepared without tedious solvent exchange and surface modification if the molar ratio of water/MTMS increases to 8, substantially reducing the cost of aerogel production. This result was attributed to MTMS's fully condensation and low concentrations of ring species.

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  • August 2003

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:55 p.m.

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  • June 30, 2015, 4:13 p.m.

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Dong, Hanjiang. Characterization of Methyltrimethoxysilane Sol-Gel Polymerization and the Resulting Aerogels., dissertation, August 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4266/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .