The research area is focused on the synthesis of periodic mesoporous materials whose polymeric framework is composed of both inorganic and organic fragments. The materials have a highly ordered structure with well-defined external morphologies reflecting t he symmetries of the pore arrangement structure, whose ordering is higher than that of the conventional mesoporous materials. These characteristics give to these materials a higher thermal and hydrothermal stability than that of conventional mesoporus mate rials, whose structure was formed by amorphous silica. Moreover, these novel hybrid organic-inorganic materials will show very interesting properties of hydrophobicity-hydrophilicity, which are unknown in materials with similar porous characteristics. The synthesis procedures- e.g. to polymerisation of organosilanes, containing two or more alkoxysilyl groups, in the presence of surfactant- can be applied to the synthesis of a variety of organic-inorganic hybrid mesoporous materials with a highly ordered str ucture. This ability to incorporate a variety of bridging organic and organometallic species makes possible to generate new materials with interesting chemical, catalytic, mechanical, electronic, optical and magnetic properties. On the other hand, a parall el study will be made but following a traditional methodology of hydrothermal synthesis of zeotypes, to the preparation of new hybrid organic-inorganic materials, but within the microporous range. In conclusion, the development of this type of materials is a major breakthrough in the field of porous materials, opening new opportunities for fine-tuning porous structures, surface and framework properties by judicious choices of the organic groups incorporated and the synthesis conditions employed. These prope rties may open remarkable new possibilities in catalysis, separations, and advanced materials design, as well as in fundamental studies in nanotechnology.
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