HYBRID PARTICLES AND MEMBRANES BASED ON POLYSILSESQUIOXANE BUILDING BLOCKS WITH FLUORESCENT DYES
Materials Science & Engineering
AdvisorLoy, Douglas A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 06/05/2012
AbstractSol-gel processing has been demonstrated to produce supported inorganic and hybrid microporous membranes with controlled physical and chemical properties under mild conditions. In preparing asymmetric membranes on mesoporous ceramic supports using traditional sol-gel processes, however, infiltration of the final coating material from smaller nanoparticles into the porous support can lead to unpredictable membrane thicknesses, poor reproducibility and reduced flux for separations.Herein we describe a size exclusion approach to prepare membranes by depositing well-defined relatively monodisperse particles on a mesoporous ceramic support. Ensuring that the particles remain on the surface by size exclusion can reduce or even eliminate infiltration. But if the porosity of the membrane top-layer is going to be finer than that of the support, it must be possible to sinter the particles to eliminate the interstitial porosity. Low temperature sintering is accomplished by preparing relatively compliant polysilsesquioxane particles through the introduction of organic substituents into the network of particles.To prepare membranes by size exclusion, we developed a sol-gel route to synthesize bridged polysilsesquioxane particles by polymerizing a dilute solution of monomers below their gelation concentration. Dynamic light scattering was used to monitor the particle size and size distributions during polymerizations up to the formation of gels. A membrane top-layer was successfully coated on a mesoporous titania-zirconia support through size exclusion of octylene- bridged polysilsesquioxane particles. To assist in determining if infiltration into the support has occurred and if particles are size-excluded from penetrating the support, we have covalently modified polysilsesquioxane particles with a fluorescent dye to provide direct visual evidence of the location of particles in the ceramic membrane. This is the first report of fluorescent diagnostics being used to detect infiltration and verify size exclusion of particles in asymmetric membrane deposition. We further created supported membranes of poly(phenylsilsesquioxane) through size exclusion of particles deposited on the support and then cured to establish a glassy, defect-free membrane coating without infiltration upon thermal exposure. Infiltration was verified with fluorescent dyes covalently bound into the particles. The size exclusion approach combined with fluorescent diagnostics allowed for the simplification of membrane formation and elimination of infiltration.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Materials Science & Engineering