Z. Naturforsch. 2013, 68b, 423 – 444
Fluorescence Microscopy Studies of Porous Silica Materials
Bastian Rühle, Melari Davies, Thomas Bein, and Christoph Bräuchle
Department of Chemistry and Center for NanoScience (CeNS), University of Munich (LMU), Butenandtstrasse 5–13 (E), D-81377 Munich, Germany
 These authors contributed equally to the work.
Reprint requests to Prof. Christoph Bräuchle. Fax: +49 (0)89 2180 77548. E-mail: Christoph.Braeuchle@cup.uni-muenchen.de and Prof. Thomas Bein. Fax: +49 (0)89 2180 77622. tbein@cup.uni-muenchen.de
Received February 27, 2013 / published online Juli 2, 2013
Dedicated to Professor Heinrich Nöth on the occasion of his 85th birthday
In this article, we discuss how fluorescence microscopy techniques are used to investigate important characteristics of porous silica materials. We start with a discussion of the synthesis, formation mechanism and functionalization of these materials. We then give an introduction to single molecule microscopy and show how this technique can be used to gain deeper insights into some defining properties of porous silica, such as pore structure, host-guest interactions and diffusion dynamics. We also provide examples from the literature demonstrating how fluorescence microscopy is used for elucidating important aspects of porous silica materials and heterogeneous catalysis, e. g. diffusion properties, reactivity, morphology, intergrowth, accessibility, and catalyst deactivation. Finally, a short outlook on the scope of porous silica hosts in drug delivery applications is given.
Key words: Porous Silica, Fluorescence Microscopy, Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Review Article
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