Effects of the Covalent Bonding Entrapment of Tetrapyrrole Macrocycles Inside Translucent Monolithic ZrO2 Xerogels

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While searching for adequate sol-gel methodologies for successfully trapping in monomeric and stable form either porphyrins or phthalocyanines, inside translucent monolithic silica xerogels, it was discovered that the interactions of these trapped tetrapyrrole macrocycles with Si-OH surface groups inhibit or spoil the efficient display of physicochemical, especially optical, properties of the confined species. Consequently, we have developed strategies to keep the inserted macrocycle species as far as possible from these interferences by substituting the surface -OH groups for alkyl or aryl groups or trapping these species inside alternative metal oxide networks, such as ZrO2, TiO2, and Al2O3. In the present manuscript, we present, for the first time to our knowledge, a methodology for preserving the spectroscopic characteristics of metal tetrasulfophthalocyanines and cobalt tetraphenylporphyrins trapped inside the pores of ZrO2 xerogels. The results obtained are contrasting with analogous silica systems and demonstrate that, in ZrO2 networks, the macrocyclic species remain trapped in stable and monomeric form while keeping their original spectroscopic characteristics in a better way than when captured inside silica systems. This outcome imply a lower hydrophilic character linked to the existence of a smaller amount of surface hydroxyl groups in ZrO2 networks, if compared to analogous SiO2 xerogel systems. The development and study of the possibility of trapping or fixing synthetic or natural tetrapyrrole macrocycles inside inorganic networks suggest the possibility of synthesizing hybrid solid systems suitable for important applications in technological areas such as optics, catalysis, sensoring and medicine

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Nano Hybrids (Volume 7)

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1-34

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E. Salas-Bañales et al., "Effects of the Covalent Bonding Entrapment of Tetrapyrrole Macrocycles Inside Translucent Monolithic ZrO2 Xerogels", Nano Hybrids, Vol. 7, pp. 1-34, 2014

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August 2014

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