Synthesis Of Poly(Vinylpyrrolidone) (Pvp) Grafted Silica As Matrix For Generation Of Palladium Nanoparticles And Investigation Of Effect Of Graft Lengths On Catalytic Activity
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The rationale of M.S thesis work is to investigate the effect of chain length of the stabilizing polymer brushes attached to silica surface on the formation of metallic palladium nanoparticles (NPs) and their catalytic activity. Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP) brushes forming a very thin shell was grafted from silica microparticles (Si@PVP) via RAFT mediated graft polymerization method thus controlling the molecular weights and structures of PVP grafts. Palladium (Pd) nanoparticles were formed in PVP stabilizing matrix by gamma radiolysis of Pd(Ⅱ) ions to yield Pd(0) decorated core-shell particles (Si@PVP-PdNP). Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) results indicated the formation of PVP brushes with different molecular weights on silica. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) measurements revealed that increased molecular weight of PVP brushes sterically blocked the particle growth and yielded more small Pd nanoparticles rather than fewer large ones. Si@PVP-PdNP having different PVP lengths and Pd sizes were evaluated for their catalytic activity and reusability in the model reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol. It has been found that longer grafts are more effective in preventing NPs from leaking into the solution through the PVP shell, even if nanoparticles (NPs) are smaller in their presence, yet they allow the diffusion of reactants, resulting in more stable catalytic activity in repeated measurement cycles. On the other hand, short grafts are not sufficiently effective in preventing NP agglomeration and leakage. These findings are particularly important for heterogeneous catalyst systems in that they show the effects of surface-bound polymeric stabilizers on NP formation and catalytic activity. Keywords: Surface modification, Silica micro-particles, RAFT polymerization, Palladium nanoparticles.