Hierarchically Organized and Anisotropic Porous Carbon Monoliths.
ABSTRACT: Anisotropy is a key factor regarding mechanical or transport properties and thus the functionality of porous materials. However, the ability to deliberately design the pore structure of hierarchically organized porous networks toward anisotropic features is limited. Here, we report two straightforward routes toward hierarchically structured porous carbon monoliths with an anisotropic alignment of the microstructure on the level of macro- and mesopores. One approach is based on nanocasting (NC) of carbon precursors into hierarchical and anisotropic silica hard templates. The second route, a direct synthesis approach based on soft templating (ST), makes use of the flexibility of hierarchically structured resorcinol-formaldehyde gels, which are compressed and simultaneously carbonized in the deformed state. We present structural data of both types of carbon monoliths obtained by electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption analysis, and SAXS measurements. In addition, we demonstrate how the degree of anisotropy can easily be controlled via the ST route.
Project description:The preparation of porous carbon monoliths with a defined shape via template-assisted routes is reported. Monoliths made from porous concrete and zeolite were each used as the template. The porous concrete-derived carbon monoliths exhibited high gravimetric specific surface areas up to 2000 m²·g-1. The pore system comprised macro-, meso-, and micropores. These pores were hierarchically arranged. The pore system was created by the complex interplay of the actions of both the template and the activating agent as well. On the other hand, zeolite-made template shapes allowed for the preparation of microporous carbon monoliths with a high volumetric specific surface area. This feature could be beneficial if carbon monoliths must be integrated into technical systems under space-limited conditions.
Project description:Structural hierarchy, porosity, and isotropy/anisotropy are highly relevant factors for mechanical properties and thereby the functionality of porous materials. However, even though anisotropic and hierarchically organized, porous materials are well known in nature, such as bone or wood, producing the synthetic counterparts in the laboratory is difficult. We report for the first time a straightforward combination of sol-gel processing and shear-induced alignment to create hierarchical silica monoliths exhibiting anisotropy on the levels of both, meso- and macropores. The resulting material consists of an anisotropic macroporous network of struts comprising 2D hexagonally organized cylindrical mesopores. While the anisotropy of the mesopores is an inherent feature of the pores formed by liquid crystal templating, the anisotropy of the macropores is induced by shearing of the network. Scanning electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering show that the majority of network forming struts is oriented towards the shearing direction; a quantitative analysis of scattering data confirms that roughly 40% of the strut volume exhibits a preferred orientation. The anisotropy of the material's macroporosity is also reflected in its mechanical properties; i.e., the Young's modulus differs by nearly a factor of 2 between the directions of shear application and perpendicular to it. Unexpectedly, the adsorption-induced strain of the material exhibits little to no anisotropy.
Project description:This review summarizes the development of methacrylate-based polymer monoliths for separation science applications. An introduction to monoliths is presented, followed by the preparation methods and characteristics specific to methacrylate monoliths. Both traditional chemical based syntheses and emerging additive manufacturing methods are presented along with an analysis of the different types of functional groups, which have been utilized with methacrylate monoliths. The role of methacrylate based porous materials in separation science in industrially important chemical and biological separations are discussed, with particular attention given to the most recent developments and challenges associated with these materials. While these monoliths have been shown to be useful for a wide variety of applications, there is still scope for exerting better control over the porous architectures and chemistries obtained from the different fabrication routes. Conclusions regarding this previous work are drawn and an outlook towards future challenges and potential developments in this vibrant research area are presented. Discussed in particular are the potential of additive manufacturing for the preparation of monolithic structures with pre-defined multi-scale porous morphologies and for the optimization of surface reactive chemistries.
Project description:A new rapid, very simple and one-step sol-gel strategy for the large-scale preparation of highly porous γ-Al₂O₃ is presented. The resulting mesoporous alumina materials feature high surface areas (400 m² g-1), large pore volumes (0.8 mL g-1) and the γ-Al₂O₃ phase is obtained at low temperature (500 °C). The main advantages and drawbacks of different preparations of mesoporous alumina materials exhibiting high specific surface areas and large pore volumes such as surfactant-nanostructured alumina, sol-gel methods and hierarchically macro-/mesoporous alumina monoliths have been analyzed and compared. The most reproducible synthesis of mesoporous alumina are given. Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly (EISA) is the sole method to lead to nanostructured mesoporous alumina by direct templating, but it is a difficult method to scale-up. Alumina featuring macro- and mesoporosity in monolithic shape is a very promising material for in flow applications; an optimized synthesis is described.
Project description:This study deals with the fabrication of biodegradable porous materials from bacterial polyester, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (P3HB3HHx), via thermally induced phase separation. P3HB3HHx monoliths with topological porous structure were prepared by dissolution of P3HB3HHx in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 85 °C and subsequent quenching. The microstructure of the resulting P3HB3HHx monoliths was changed by the P3HB3HHx concentration of the polymer solution. Differential scanning calorimetry and polarized optical microscope analysis revealed that the P3HB3HHx monoliths crystallized during phase separation and the subsequent aging. The mechanical properties, such as compression modulus and stress, of the monoliths depended on the 3-hydroxyhexanoate content of P3HB3HHx. Furthermore, the P3HB3HHx monolith absorbed linseed oil in preference to water in a plant oil⁻water mixture. In combination with the biodegradable character of P3HB3HHx, the present study is expected to contribute to the development of bio-based materials.
Project description:Monolithic poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) and poly(butyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) capillary columns, which incorporate the new monomer [6,6]-phenyl-C(61)-butyric acid 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate ester, have been prepared and their chromatographic performance have been tested for the separation of small molecules in the reversed phase. While addition of the C60-fullerene monomer to the glycidyl methacrylate-based monolith enhanced column efficiency 18-fold, to 85,000 plates/m at a linear velocity of 0.46 mm/s and a retention factor of 2.6, when compared to the parent monolith, the use of butyl methacrylate together with the carbon nanostructured monomer afforded monolithic columns with an efficiency for benzene exceeding 110,000 plates/m at a linear velocity of 0.32 mm/s and a retention factor of 4.2. This high efficiency is unprecedented for separations using porous polymer monoliths operating in an isocratic mode. Optimization of the chromatographic parameters affords near baseline separation of 6 alkylbenzenes in 3 min with an efficiency of 64,000 plates/m. The presence of 1 wt % or more of water in the polymerization mixture has a large effect on both the formation and reproducibility of the monoliths. Other factors such as nitrogen exposure, polymerization conditions, capillary filling method, and sonication parameters were all found to be important in producing highly efficient and reproducible monoliths.
Project description:Nitrogen-doped porous activated carbon monoliths (NDP-ACMs) have long been the most desirable materials for supercapacitors. Unique to the conventional template based Lewis acid/base activation methods, herein, we report on a simple yet practicable novel approach to production of the three-dimensional NDP-ACMs (3D-NDP-ACMs). Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) contained carbon nanotubes (CNTs), being pre-dispersed into a tubular level of dispersions, were used as the starting material and the 3D-NDP-ACMs were obtained via a template-free process. First, a continuous mesoporous PAN/CNT based 3D monolith was established by using a template-free temperature-induced phase separation (TTPS). Second, a nitrogen-doped 3D-ACM with a surface area of 613.8?m2/g and a pore volume 0.366?cm3/g was obtained. A typical supercapacitor with our 3D-NDP-ACMs as the functioning electrodes gave a specific capacitance stabilized at 216?F/g even after 3000 cycles, demonstrating the advantageous performance of the PAN/CNT based 3D-NDP-ACMs.
Project description:A new method of surface modification is described for enabling the in situ formation of homogenous porous polymer monoliths (PPMs) within poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic channels that uses 365 nm UV illumination for polymerization. Porous polymer monolith formation in PDMS can be challenging because PDMS readily absorbs the monomers and solvents, changing the final monolith morphology, and because PDMS absorbs oxygen, which inhibits free-radical polymerization. The new approach is based on sequentially absorbing a non-hydrogen-abstracting photoinitiator and the monomers methyl methacrylate and ethylene diacrylate within the walls of the microchannel, and then polymerizing the surface treatment polymer within the PDMS, entangled with it but not covalently bound. Four different monolith compositions were tested, all of which yielded monoliths that were securely anchored and could withstand pressures exceeding the bonding strength of PDMS (40 psi) without dislodging. One was a recipe that was optimized to give a larger average pore size, required for low back pressure. This monolith was used to concentrate and subsequently mechanical lyse B lymphocytes.
Project description:In this study, novel photocatalyst monolith materials were successfully fabricated by a non-solvent induced phase separation (NIPS) technique. By adding a certain amount of ethyl acetate (as non-solvent) into a cellulose/LiCl/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) solution, and successively adding titanium dioxide (TiO₂) nanoparticles (NPs), cellulose/TiO₂ composite monoliths with hierarchically porous structures were easily formed. The obtained composite monoliths possessed mesopores, and two kinds of macropores. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), and Ultraviolet-visible Spectroscopy (UV-Vis) measurements were adopted to characterize the cellulose/TiO₂ composite monolith. The cellulose/TiO₂ composite monoliths showed high efficiency of photocatalytic activity in the decomposition of methylene blue dye, which was decomposed up to 99% within 60 min under UV light. Moreover, the composite monoliths could retain 90% of the photodegradation efficiency after 10 cycles. The novel NIPS technique has great potential for fabricating recyclable photocatalysts with highly efficiency.
Project description:Strong hierarchical porous zeolite structures are prepared by a sol-gel method using freeze gelation. Instead of conventional binders in powder form, such as bentonite or kaolin, it has been proven that using a freeze gelation method based on a colloidal silica sol is a more straightforward and easier-to-use-approach in fabricating highly mechanically stable zeolite monoliths. The resulting zeolite slurries possess superior rheological properties (not being pseudoplastic) and show low viscosities. This low viscosity of the slurry enables an increase in the solid content without compromising the extraordinary good flow behavior for casting applications. Additionally, in comparison to conventional powdery binders, zeolite samples prepared by using a colloidal silica sol exhibit a significantly higher mechanical strength. This mechanical strength can be further improved by either increasing the zeolite content or increasing the silica to zeolite ratio. Increasing the zeolite content leads to an increased volumetric adsorption capacity for CO2 as the test gas, resulting from the increased amount of zeolite particles per unit volume. In addition, a higher solid content of the zeolite monoliths leads to higher compression strengths, while showing the same elastic deformation and brittle failure characteristics. In turn, increasing the silica to zeolite ratio does not affect the volumetric adsorption capacity for CO2. Nevertheless, higher silica contents lead to a significant increase in the elastic deformation and absorbed work until failure. Therefore, the proposed processing route based on freeze gelation presents an easy and unique tool to tune the mechanical and gas adsorptive properties of hierarchically structured zeolite monoliths, according to the application requirements.