Microporous SiO2 and SiO2/MO2 (M=Ti, Zr, Al; 10 mol% MOx) materials for gas separation membrane applications have been prepared from polymeric sols. Characterization of these sols with SAXS showed that the mean fractal dimension of the SiO2 sols is 1.3-1.4 with a radius of gyration of approximately 2.5 nm. The dried and calcined films are microporous and the pore size distribution was bimodal with maxima at diameters of 0.5 nm and 0.75 nm. For the SiO2/TiO2, SiO2/ZrO2 and SiO2/Al2O3 systems, much milder reaction conditions proved to be necessary to obtain sols with comparable fractal dimensions due to the high reactivity of the Ti/Zr/Al-alkoxides. Microporous supported membranes with molecular sieve-like gas transport properties can be prepared from a relatively wide range of sol structures: from polymers too small to characterize with SAXS to structures with fractal dimensions: 1<df<2.04.
- Ceramic membrane
- Gas separation