Biomimetic catalysis at silicon centre using molecularly imprinted polymers

Abbate, Vincenzo; Bassindale, Alan R.; Brandstadt, Kurt F. and Taylor, Peter G. (2011). Biomimetic catalysis at silicon centre using molecularly imprinted polymers. Journal of Catalysis, 284(1) pp. 68–76.



The first example of biomimetic siloxane bond formation catalyzed by molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) is reported. MIPs were prepared by free-radical polymerization and characterized via a combination of solid-state NMR, infrared spectroscopy, and electron microscopy studies. Methacrylic acid-based polymers with high functional monomer content were observed to catalyze the hydrolysis and condensation of a model monoalkoxysilane to a greater extent when compared with the corresponding blank (non-imprinted) materials and buffer control solutions, as judged by quantitative gas chromatography investigations. Moreover, the polymers were used as biomimetic catalysts to synthesize silica-MIP hybrids with a certain degree of control of the microstructure of the resulting composites.

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