One of the key benefits of sol-gel-derived glasses is the presence of a mesoporous structure and the resulting increase in surface area. This enhancement in textural properties has a significant effect on the physicochemical properties of the materials. In this context the aim of this study was to investigate how sol-gel synthesis parameters can influence the textural and structural properties of mesoporous silicate glasses. We report the synthesis and characterization of metal ion doped sol-gel derived glasses with different dopants in the presence or absence of a surfactant (Pluronic P123) used as structure-directing templating agent. Characterization was done by several methods. Using a structure directing agent led to larger surface areas and highly ordered mesoporous structures. The chemical structure of the non-ordered glasses was modified to a larger extent than the one of the ordered glasses due to increased incorporation of dopant ions into the glass network. The results will help to further understand how the properties of sol-gel glasses can be controlled by incorporation of metal dopants, in conjunction with control over the textural properties, and will be important to optimize the properties of sol-gel glasses for specific applications, e.g., drug delivery, bone regeneration, wound healing, and antibacterial materials.
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