The successful in situ synthesis of metallophthalocyanines in mesoporous matrices is presented in this report. To overcome the high hydrophobicity of phthalocyanine (Pc) compounds in conventional wet chemical methods, a simple but effective route is developed to incorporate the metallophthalocyanines into the mesoporous matrix via an in situ reaction process between pre-loaded metal ions and 1,2-dicyanobenzene (DCB) introduced by chemical vapor deposition. The Pcs are not directly loaded into the pores, but the precursors of metallophthalocyanines (metal ions and small DCB molecules) are introduced stepwise into the pore channels, which are then used as ‘micro-reactors” to produce incorporated MePcs by in situ reactions. The structural and optical characteristics of the as-synthesized composites are carefully investigated using X-ray diffraction, transmission electronic microscopy, scanning electronic microscopy, infrared and ultra violet spectra, and BET methods. The results show that the metallophthalocyanines disperse homogeneously in the mesopores, mostly as monomers, accompanied by a small number of dimers.
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