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The Use Of Highly Ordered Vesicle Gels As Template For The Formation Of Silica Gels.
Published 2011 · Chemistry, Medicine
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A spontaneously forming gel of unilamellar vesicles based on sodium oleate (Na oleate) and 1-octanol as amphiphiles has been employed as a template in the formation of a silica gel formed by the hydrolysis of the inorganic precursor tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS). Up to about 10 wt % TEOS can be incorporated into this vesicle gel without phase separation and in a fully homogeneous formation process by simple mixing of the components. The process itself relies solely upon the self-organizing properties of this amphiphilic template system. The formation process was followed by means of time-resolved turbidity, rheology, and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments. It can be concluded that the presence of the precursor TEOS affects the kinetics of the process but the original vesicle gel structure is retained even up to highest TEOS content. The kinetic studies confirm that under the chosen conditions the vesicle formation proceeds much faster than the hydrolysis of TEOS and the subsequent formation of the silica gel. SANS displays in the low q-range an additional scattering due to the silica gel network, i.e., a hybrid material of an amphiphilic vesicle gel and an inorganic oxide gel is formed. Thus, this method is a very facile novel route of forming a highly ordered silica/vesicle gel by employing a self-organizing amphiphilic system as template and the formation of the silica network proceeds in a fully homogeneous fashion under kinetic control.