Toward a facile synthesis of spherical sub-micron mesoporous silica: Effect of surfactant concentration

Document Type: Research Paper


Research Center for Advanced Materials, Faculty of Materials Engineering, Sahand University of Technoloy, Tabriz, Iran.


In this paper, a facile method for preparing sub-micron spherical mesoporous silica by the sol-gel process and cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a soft template was reported. Moreover, the effect of surfactant concentration on the specific surface area and the total pore volume was investigated. The specific surface area, pore characteristic, morphology, chemical composition, and structure of mesoporous silica were studied using various methods. The N2 adsorption test showed that increasing the CTAB concentration from 4.6 mM to 7.2 mM increases the specific surface area from 416.48 to 564.07 m2g-1. However, the maximum pore volume was obtained at 5.9 mM CTAB. The spherical shape of the powders was confirmed by field emission scanning electron microscopy. Besides, X-ray diffraction, fourier transform infrared spectra, and energy dispersive spectrometry analysis indicated that the synthesized samples are SiO2, with an amorphous structure. Based on the structure and properties of obtained synthesized mesoporous silica, it is a good candidate for a drug reservoir and the carrier for new controlled drug delivery systems.