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Issue 43, 2005
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Spermine, spermidine and their analogues generate tailored silicas

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Biosilicifying organisms such as diatoms, sponges and higher plants deposit ornate “glassy” siliceous materials with well defined properties such as particle size and porosity at precisely controlled growth rates. Here we present the in vitro synthesis and characterisation of “glassy” silica with tailored properties by using naturally occurring aminesspermidine and spermine—and their analogues. These additives were found to regulate the growth rates, particle sizes, maturation, surface areas, porosities and morphologies of the siliceous materials prepared. In particular, the combination of unique catalytic effects and aggregation behaviours that are dependent on or related to chain length, intramolecular N–N spacing and C : N ratio of the additives was found to be responsible for controlling materials properties. Mechanisms regulating the generation of silicas showing a range of material characteristics are proposed.

Graphical abstract: Spermine, spermidine and their analogues generate tailored silicas

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Supplementary files

Article information

08 Jul 2005
23 Aug 2005
First published
22 Sep 2005

J. Mater. Chem., 2005,15, 4629-4638
Article type

Spermine, spermidine and their analogues generate tailored silicas

D. J. Belton, S. V. Patwardhan and C. C. Perry, J. Mater. Chem., 2005, 15, 4629
DOI: 10.1039/B509683A

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