365480 Systematic Study of the Formation of Bio-Inspired Inorganic Nanoporous Membranes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 2:12 PM
International 8 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Silo Meoto, Chemical Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom and Marc-Olivier Coppens, Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Systematic Study of the Formation of Bio-inspired Inorganic Nanoporous Membranes

Silo Meoto, Marc-Olivier Coppens

Department of Chemical Engineering and EPSRC “Frontier Engineering” Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Periodic mesoporous silica was synthesized inside the pores of a macroporous host template by acid-catalysed synthesis. Surfactants P123 and F127 were used as structure directing agents to form mesoporous silica with different mesostructures. Significant research effort has been expended on the fabrication of mesoporous silica structures using alumina membranes. However, obtaining a defect-free structure, in which the alumina channels are tightly filled with mesoporous silica, is not as trivial as extensively reported [1]. Additionally, knowledge about the mechanism of nucleation and growth of the silica structures within confined spaces is limited. Therefore, a systematic approach to experimental design has been adapted for the fabrication of silica nanocomposites with tuneable pores within alumina channels. Preliminary results reveal the effect of specific parameters on the development of a crack-free membrane.

Based on the underlying mechanism of the performance of biological nanopores, the diameter and surface chemistry of these hierarchical structures can be tailored by pore functionalization to enhance the selectivity of separations. The synthesized membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and nitrogen adsorption/desorption measurements. The functionality of the membrane performance is ultimately demonstrated by its ability to separate solutes by size exclusion.

[1]. S. Meoto, M.-O. Coppens, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 5640

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