(40f) Inorganic Nanoparticulate and Porous Carbon Films towards High-Flux, High-Resolution Separations

Snyder, M. A., Lehigh University
Tian, Z., Lehigh University

Thin inorganic nanoparticulate and carbon replica films on the order of tens of nanometers in thickness bearing hierarchically ordered pores hold exciting technological implications spanning, among others, membrane separations, devices for integrated reaction-separations, and chemical sensors. Control over film thickness and quality (i.e., minimizing defects like cracks and grain boundaries) has been a persistent challenge in the fabrication of inorganic films supported on porous and non-porous substrates. We address some of these challenges through the facile synthesis of novel nanoparticulate and carbon replica films with tailored pore size, topology, coordination, and function. We do this through a hierarchical nanomanufacturing strategy, rooted in controlled synthesis of size-tunable (ca. 5-40 nm) silica nanoparticle building units, their facile convective assembly into near-monolayer to multilayer films, and the subsequent templating of novel replica thin films. The size tunability of the primary silica particles and ability to control the thickness of multi-layer colloidal crystal films translates into tunability of the resulting pore structure in the micro/mesoporous range, and film thickness scalability, respectively. The unprecedentedly small film dimensions and ability to decorate the pore surface with various chemical moieties open exciting possibilities for high-sensitivity, high-flux, and autonomous pore-mediated processes. We will describe the assembly of these films, structural characterization, and device scale properties including stability and permeability.

by on 5-3-2010-->