Effect of the presence of an ordered micro-pillar array on the formation of silica monoliths

Frederik Detobel, Hamed Eghbali, S. de Bruyne, Selm De Bruyne, Herman Terryn, Johannes G.E. Gardeniers, Gert Desmet

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28 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the synthesis of siloxane-based monoliths in the presence of a two-dimensional, perfectly ordered array of micro-pillars. Both methyltrimethoxysilane- and tetramethoxysilane-based monoliths were considered. The obtained structures were analyzed using scanning-electron microscopy and can be explained from the general theory of surface-directed phase separation in confined spaces. The formed structures are to a large extent nearly exclusively determined by the ratio between the bulk domain size of the monolith on the one hand and the distance between the micro-pillars on the other hand. When this ratio is small, the presence of the pillars has nearly no effect on the morphology of the produced monoliths. However, when the ratio approaches unity and ascends above it, some new types of monolith morphologies are induced, two of which appear to have interesting properties for use as novel chromatographic supports. One of these structures (obtained when the domain size/inter-pillar distance ratio is around unity) is a 3D network of linear interconnections between the pillars, organized such that all skeleton branches are oriented perpendicular to the micro-pillar surface. A second interesting structure is obtained at even higher values of the domain size/inter-pillar distance ratio. In this case, each individual micro-pillar is uniformly coated with a mesoporous shell
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)7360-7367
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of chromatography A
Issue number2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-94225
  • METIS-262842

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