464400 Mesostructure and Pore Size Distribution of Mesoporous Silica / Anodic Alumina Hierarchical Membranes Tuned with Ethanol
We show how ethanol content, in the silica precursor solution, has a significant effect on the type and order of the mesoporous silica phase. Varying the ethanol concentration controls the mesoporosity and the structure of the mesoporous silica over macroscopic distances, so that an improved mesoporous silica/anodic alumina hybrid membrane with controlled pore sizes is produced .
The hierarchically structured membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and nitrogen adsorption/desorption measurements. These techniques provide evidence of the increasing degree of ordering and narrower pore size distribution obtained with decreasing ethanol concentration. Interpretation of the formed structures and the influence of ethanol are made possible by dynamic light scattering (DLS) experiments of the precursor solutions, which allow us to follow the evolution of the micelles that template the silica mesopores, for various ethanol concentrations.
The membranes are tested by using them to carry out protein separations, showing promise as a platform for membrane based applications. . S. Meoto, M.-O. Coppens, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 5640 . S. Meoto, N. Kent, M. M. Nigra, M.-O. Coppens, submitted