Synthesis and characterization of uniform alumina-mesoporous silica hybrid membranes

Sukjoon Yoo, David M. Ford, Daniel F. Shantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The synthesis and characterization of alumina-mesoporous silica (alumina-MS) hybrid membranes are reported. The hybrids are formed using a variation of the evaporative-induced self-assembly (EISA) process reported by Hayward et al. (Langmuir 2004, 20, 5998) based on dip coating of an Anopore 200 nm membrane with a Brij-56/TEOS/HCl/H 2O solution. Numerous analytical methods are used to probe both the hybrid material and the silica phase after dissolution of the Anopore substrate. Most importantly, He/N 2 permeation measurements show that the effective pore size of the membrane can be tuned from 20 to 5 nm based on the number of dip-coating cycles used. The observed He/N 2 permselectivity of 2.7 ± 0.11 is nearly identical to the theoretical value obtained (2.65) assuming Knudsen diffusion dominates. The selectivity of these membranes is higher than that of most commercial "5 nm" membranes (2.29), which is ascribed to the lack of pinhole defects in the materials reported here. The hybrid membranes as well as the silica obtained after dissolution of the Anopore substrate have been characterized using scanning and transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Those results indicate that the silica deposited in the Anopore membrane possesses uniform pores approximately 5 nm in size, consistent with the permeation studies. The current work presents an alternative approach to materials that possess many of the properties of mesoporous silica thin films (i.e., pores of controlled size and topology) without the difficulty of growing mesoporous silica thin films on porous supports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1845
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 14 2006


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