Bi-template assisted synthesis of mesoporous manganese oxide nanostructures: Tuning properties for efficient CO oxidation†
A simple soft bi-templating process was used for the synthesis of mesoporous manganese oxide nanostructures using KMnO4 as a precursor and polyethylene glycol and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide as templates in the presence of benzaldehyde as an organic additive in alkaline media, followed by calcination at 400 °C. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopic analysis of the calcined products confirmed the existence of stoichiometric (MnO2 and Mn5O8) and non-stoichiometric mixed phases (MnO2 + Mn5O8) of Mn oxides obtained by tuning the concentration of the additive and the synthesis time. The surface properties of the prepared Mn oxides were determined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The mesoporosity of the samples was confirmed by N2 adsorption–desorption. Different synthetic conditions resulted in the formation of different morphologies of the Mn oxides (α-MnO2, Mn5O8, and α-MnO2 + Mn5O8), such as nanoparticles, nanorods, and nanowires. The synthesized mesoporous Mn oxide nanostructures were used for the catalytic oxidation of the harmful air pollutant carbon monoxide. The Mn5O8 nanoparticles with the highest Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area and the non-stoichiometric manganese oxide (α-MnO2 + Mn5O8) nanorods with a higher Mn3+ concentration had the best catalytic efficiency.