The entrapping of physicochemical active molecules inside mesoporous networks is an appealing field of research due to the myriad of potential applications in optics, photocatalysis, chemical sensing, and medicine. One of the most important reasons for this success is the possibility of optimizing
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The entrapping of physicochemical active molecules inside mesoporous networks is an appealing field of research due to the myriad of potential applications in optics, photocatalysis, chemical sensing, and medicine. One of the most important reasons for this success is the possibility of optimizing the properties that a free active species displays in solution but now trapped inside a solid substrate. Additionally it is possible to modulate the textural characteristics of substrates, such as pore size, specific surface area, polarity and chemical affinity of the surface, toward the physical or chemical adhesion of a variety of adsorbates. In the present document, two kinds of non-silicon metal alkoxides, Zr and Ti, are employed to prepare xerogels containing entrapped tetrapyrrolic species that could be inserted beforehand in analogue silica systems. The main goal is to develop efficient methods for trapping or binding tetrapyrrole macrocycles inside TiO2
xerogels, while comparing the properties of these systems against those of the SiO2
analogues. Once the optimal synthesis conditions for obtaining translucent monolithic xerogels of ZrO2
networks were determined, it was confirmed that these substrates allowed the entrapment, in monomeric form, of macrocycles that commonly appear as aggregates within the SiO2
network. From these experiments, it could be determined that the average pore diameters, specific surface areas, and water sorption capacities depicted by each one of these substrates, are a consequence of their own nature combined with the particular structure of the entrapped tetrapyrrole macrocycle. Furthermore, the establishment of covalent bonds between the intruding species and the pore walls leads to the obtainment of very similar pore sizes in the three different metal oxide (Ti, Zr, and Si) substrates as a consequence of the templating effect of the encapsulated species.