365480 Systematic Study of the Formation of Bio-Inspired Inorganic Nanoporous Membranes
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 . 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.
. S. Meoto, M.-O. Coppens, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 5640
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