Professeur à l’Université d’Anvers – Belgique

Surface modification methodologies to create diversity in surface chemistry and applications

A. Roevens (a), J. Van Dijck (a,b), G. Mustafa (a,b), S. Loreto (a), M. Dorbec (b), B. Prelot (c), J. Zajac (c), A. Buekenhoudt (b), V. Meynen (a,b)

(a) : University Antwerp, Laboratory of Adsorption and Catalysis, Wilrijk, Belgium. Contact:

(b) : Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO NV), Unit Separation and Conversion Technology, Mol, Belgium

(c) : Institut Charles Gerhardt de Montpellier, UMR 5253 CNRS-UM-ENSCM, University of Montpellier, CC1502, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France

Porous inorganic materials are applied in a wide diversity of applications depending on their structural and physico-chemical properties. However, although their structure and surface properties can be varied, often extra functionalities are required. For this reason, hybrid organic-inorganic materials are being developed, introducing a wide diversity of chemical interactions, available in organic molecules, to the inorganic matrix. By doing so, not only the type of organic group but also the surface functionalisation mechanism and synthetic conditions create a large matrix of control, adjustable to the specific requirements of the applications.
At the laboratory of adsorption and catalysis (LADCA) different methods are being developed to control the performance and interaction behaviour of materials in applications at all levels of material control (structural and physico-chemical). In view of hybrid organic-inorganic material synthesis, both in-situ and ex-situ methodologies are being developed for silica and metal oxide based materials.
Two different methodologies for surface grafting will be shown (organophosphonic acid surface modification and Grignard modification), each with their particular advantages, levels of control and drawbacks. By applying the appropriate method and modification conditions, unique surface properties can be obtained that allow to tune interactions at the surface and as a result enhance performance of materials in specific applications. The impact of synthesis conditions and mechanisms on the obtained surface properties will be discussed and correlated to their impact on sorption behaviour. Examples will be given from applications such as water purification and solvent filtration, revealing the opportunities introduced by the unique features that designed organic functionalization can add to the top layer of ceramic membranes. The examples will show how new and versatile opportunities in sorption, separation, catalysis and sensors can be created.

After obtaining her bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Hasselt (Belgium), Vera Meynen became a master in Chemistry at the University of Antwerp.
In 2006, she obtained her PhD in Chemistry at the same University, entitled “synthesis of a new generation of hierarchical zeolites” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Etienne Vansant.
During her postdoc, she started working on membrane development and modifications at VITO (Flemish Institute of Technological Research).
She was a guest researcher in several laboratories among which the University of Montpellier 2 (AIME group, Prof. J. Zajac) and the Institute Europeén de Membranes (IEM, CNRS) in Montpellier in France and the university of Stuttgart in Germany.
Since 2006, she has a guest research position at VITO (Unit SCT – Separation and Conversion Technology and SUMAT – Sustainable materials) in Belgium.

Her main research interests include the synthesis and modification of materials with tuneable, controlled properties for applications in sorption, catalysis, separation and sensors. Her main areas of interest are 1) Structure-activity and structure-deactivation correlation in inorganic and hybrid organic-inorganic materials, to improve their function/performance in a variety of applications based on a combination of fundamental knowledge, application tests and complementary characterization tools, 2) ceramic (hybrid) membranes synthesis, modification, characterization and structure-activity correlation, 3) surface modification techniques (post-synthesis), to control the surface interaction of materials.
The research work is imbedded in large (inter)national networks with partners in various fields of application and research. She is author of more than 90 publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals of which more than half with co-authors from different countries, 2 book chapters and 3 patents. Her H-index is 22. She is (co)-promoter of 9 PhD students and was promotor of 6 defended PhD’s. In April 2012 she became associated editor of “Chemical Papers”.
Next to her academic research, she has a strong interest in safety and is the coordinator of the Post Academic Course “Adviseur Gevaarlijke Stoffen” (= Advisor Hazardous Materials) at the University of Antwerp in collaboration with Campus VESTA, chemical industry and the Federal government Knowledge Centre Civil Protection.

List of publications

Conférence : Prof. Vera MEYNEN – Université d’Anvers, Belgique – 27/11/2017
Tel : +33 (0)4 6714 9100 / Fax : +33 (0)4 6714 9119 -- Etablissements tutelles Partenaires
Institut Européen des Membranes
300 avenue du Prof. Emile Jeanbrau
34090 Montpellier
> Voir la carte
adresse postale :
Université de Montpellier - CC047
Place Eugène Bataillon
34095 Montpellier cedex 5
Pôle Chimie UM

© 2023 Institut Européen des Membranes - Mentions légales & crédits