Investigation of CO2 capture mechanisms of liquid-like nanoparticle organic hybrid materials via structural characterization
Nanoparticle organic hybrid materials (NOHMs) have been recently developed that comprise an oligomeric or polymeric canopy tethered to surface-modified nanoparticles via ionic or covalent bonds. It has already been shown that the tunable nature of the grafted polymeric canopy allows for enhanced CO2 capture capacity and selectivity via the enthalpic intermolecular interactions between CO2 and the task-specific functional groups, such as amines. Interestingly, for the same amount of CO2 loading NOHMs have also exhibited significantly different swelling behavior compared to that of the corresponding polymers, indicating a potential structural effect during CO2 capture. If the frustrated canopy species favor spontaneous ordering due to steric and/or entropic effects, the inorganic cores of NOHMs could be organized into unusual structural arrangements. Likewise, the introduction of small gaseous molecules such as CO2 could reduce the free energy of the frustrated canopy. This entropic effect, the result of unique structural nature, could allow NOHMs to capture CO2 more effectively. In order to isolate the entropic effect, NOHMs were synthesized without the task-specific functional groups. The relationship between their structural conformation and the underlying mechanisms for the CO2 absorption behavior were investigated by employing NMR and ATR FT-IR spectroscopies. The results provide fundamental information needed for evaluating and developing novel liquid-like CO2 capture materials and give useful insights for designing and synthesizing NOHMs for more effective CO2 capture.
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