Silica templating approach for in-column radical polymerisation of low domain size polymer monoliths.

Project Details


This project intends to use HPLC columns packed with porous silica material as templates for in-column polymerization. Preliminary work showed that it is possible to polymerize styrene and divinylbenzene in the pores of C18 material packed in an HPLC column. When using ODS material with broader 1000Ä pores inter-connections between the particles appear. The goal of this project is to work out these observations to be able to make monolithic columns for HPLC with improved order and therefore higher separation efficiency. In the first inner pore polymerization approach thermally initiated radical polymerization is performed in the hydrophobic pores of, and at the connection points between, particles. The particles are in this mode surrounded by water. Reaction is started by heating the column above the dissociation temperature of the initiator. After the reaction the particles can selectively be removed in a 20% NaOH solution, leaving only the monolithic structure behind. In the complimentary through pore polymerization approach the pores of native silica are filled with water and thermally initiated polymerization is performed in the through pores only. This strategy is compatible with radical and ionic (resin type) polymerization approaches offering promise for obtaining mechanically more stable polymer monoliths with smaller domain sizes. All columns and manufactured materials will be evaluated in a fundamental and practical way in the two research groups, respectively.
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/21


  • Biomedic sciences
  • Chemical technology

Flemish discipline codes

  • General chemical and biochemical engineering not elsewhere classified