Percolation diffusion into self-assembled mesoporous silica microfibres

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nanomaterials, 2014, 4 (1), pp. 157 - 174
Issue Date:
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© 2014 by the authors. Percolation diffusion into long (11.5 cm) self-assembled, ordered mesoporous microfibres is studied using optical transmission and laser ablation inductive coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Optical transmission based diffusion studies reveal rapid penetration (<5 s, D > 80 μm 2 ·s −1 ) of Rhodamine B with very little percolation of larger molecules such as zinc tetraphenylporphyrin (ZnTPP) observed under similar loading conditions. The failure of ZnTPP to enter the microfibre was confirmed, in higher resolution, using LA-ICP-MS. In the latter case, LA-ICP-MS was used to determine the diffusion of zinc acetate dihydrate, D~3 × 10 −4 nm 2 ·s −1 . The large differences between the molecules are accounted for by proposing ordered solvent and structure assisted accelerated diffusion of the Rhodamine B based on its hydrophilicity relative to the zinc compounds. The broader implications and applications for filtration, molecular sieves and a range of devices and uses are described.
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