Spectroscopic investigation of the canopy configurations in nanoparticle organic hybrid materials of various grafting densities during CO 2 capture

Novel liquid-like nanoparticle organic hybrid materials (NOHMs) made of polyetheramine chains tethered onto functionalized silica nanoparticles were synthesized and characterized before and after exposure to CO 2 using NMR, Raman, and ATR FT-IR spectroscopies in order to investigate the effect of the grafting densities on the NOHM canopy structure. Considering the promising tunable properties for CO 2 capture of NOHMs, this study was conducted to provide important structural information to better design NOHMs for CO 2 capture. In order to minimize the CO 2 absorption via enthalpic effect and provide a more accurate assessment of the structural effects, the NOHMs were synthesized without task-specific groups. A greater chain ordering and decreased intermolecular interactions were observed in NOHMs compared to the unbound polymer. This was attributed to the specific structural arrangement of the frustrated canopy. The distinct configuration of grafted polymer chains caused different CO 2 packing and CO 2-induced swelling behaviors between the NOHMs and the unbound polymer. The grafting density influenced the ordering and coupling of the polymer chains and CO 2-induced swelling. Its effect on the CO 2 packing behavior was less pronounced.