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Mesoporous silica matrices derived from sol-gel process assisted by low power ultrasonic activation

Author(s): Cecilia Savii | László Almásy | Claudia Ionescu | Noémi Kinga Székely | Corina Enache | Mihaela Popovici | Ioan Sora | Dan Nicoara | George Gustav Savii | Dana Susan Resiga | Jan Subrt | Václav Štengl

Journal: Processing and Application of Ceramics
ISSN 1820-6131

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Mesoporous silica matrix | Sol-gel | Sonication | SANS | Fractal structure | Specific surface area

The present work contributes to elucidating the differences between silica gels obtained by low doses ultrasonic activation, and those obtained by the conventional method, termed as classical sol gel. Silica matrices were produced by sol-gel synthesis process, assisted and non-assisted by an ultrasonic fi eld, and subsequently characterized by various methods. Nitrogen adsorption and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements provided texture and microstructure of the dried gels. The adsorption results show that the sample sonicated for 2 hours presents the most ordered microstructure, characterized by pore shape close to spherical and the narrowest size distribution – about 90 % of the pores for this sample fall into the mesopore range (2–50 nm). SANS data reveal the formation of primary structural units of sizes around 1.5–2 nm which are small linear or branched polymeric species of roughly spherical shape and with rough surface. They are generated in the very early stage of sol gel process, as a result of hydrolysis and condensation reactions. The aggregated primary units form the secondary porous structure which can be described as a rough surface with fractal dimension above 2. The best porosity characteristics were obtained for the sample activated for 2 hours, indicating the optimal doses of sonication in the present conditions. Our results demonstrate the possibility of tailoring the pore size distribution using a low power ultrasonic bath.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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