Structural characteristics of silica sonogels prepared with different proportions of TEOS and TMOS

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Elsevier B.V.


Sonohydrolysis of mixtures of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) with different TMOS/(TMOS + TEOS) molar ratio R was carried out to obtain similar to 2.0 x 10(-3) mol SiO2/cm(3) and similar to 86%-volume liquid phase wet gels. Aerogels were obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction in autoclave. The samples were analyzed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and nitrogen adsorption. The structure of the wet gels can be described as a mass fractal structure with fractal dimension D similar to 2.2 and characteristic length increasing from similar to 4.6 nm for pure TEOS to similar to 6.4 nm for pure TMOS. A fraction of the porosity is eliminated with the supercritical process. The fundamental role of the TMOS/(TMOS + TEOS) molar ratio on the structure of the aerogels is to increase the porosity and the pore mean size as R changes from pure TEOS to pure TMOS. The supercritical process increases the mass fractal dimension and shortens the fractality domain in the mesopore region. A secondary structure appearing in the micropore region of the aerogels can be described as a mass/surface fractal structure with correlated mass fractal dimension D-m similar to 2.6 and surface fractal dimension D-s similar to 2.3. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



diffraction and scattering measurements, porosity, silica, aerogels, medium-range order, adsorption

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Journal of Non-crystalline Solids. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 354, n. 14, p. 1467-1474, 2008.