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Pore Structure and Sorption Properties of Silica Aerogels Studied by Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Pulsed-Field Gradient Spectroscopy

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Abstract:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has provided direct visualization of gaseous xenon and methane in the void spaces of aerogels, offering unique information and insights into the pore structure and molecular diffusivities of occluded sorbates. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) pulsed-field gradient (PFG) techniques were used to characterize exchange and diffusive motion of sorbed xenon gas at equilibrium. PFG measurements showed evidence of anisotropic diffusion; nominal self-diffusivity coefficients of xenon on the order of D = 10-7 m2/s were determined. Based on a mathematical relationship for the restricted diffusion of gases in confined environments, an expression for estimating the mean free path was derived, from which the average pore size could be obtained from the extrapolated value of the diffusion coefficient to low xenon pressures.

Keywords: AEROGELS; DIFFUSION; GAS SORPTION; IMAGING; NMR; NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE; PFG; PORE SIZE; PULSED-FIELD GRADIENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/000370203321558137

Affiliations: Chemistry Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, Illinois 60439-4828

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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