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Alcohol-Assisted Water Condensation and Stabilization into Hydrophobic Mesoporosity

Abstract : In this work, we report the condensation and stabilization of water vapors into water-repellent, methyl-functionalized, mesoporous, silica-based films at room temperature and atmospheric pressure using a soft alcohol-assisted method. The capillary pore fillings due to water adsorption were ensured by a fine control of partial vapor pressures of alcohol and water. A synergic coadsorption of alcohol and water was observed due to a reversible surface energy switching from hydrophobic to hydrophilic induced by the preferential interaction of the alkyl side of the surfactant alcohol molecules with the hydrophobic walls. The influences of the film mesoprosity as well as the type of the alcoholic coadsorbate (methanol, ethanol, and 1-propanol) were investigated, revealing various Kelvins law-like adsorption behaviors, depending on the alcohol carbon chain length. Interestingly, the stabilization of condensed domains of quasi-pure water phases was obtained in confined hydrophobic spaces by a presumed selective alcohol desorption. It was demonstrated that a small quantity of remaining SiOH groups at the pore surface was sufficient to stabilize water nanodomains in hydrophobic pores. These results were based on in situ ellipsometric investigations, that further allowed measuring the wetting angle of water droplets trapped within the porous network, from which we could evaluate the quantity of polar -OH groups remaining in the methyl-functionalized, mesoporous, silica-based films. This first insight in alcohol/water coadsorption may open the door toward new generation of alcohol sensors.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 2:16:38 PM
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Mickael Boudot, Davide R. Ceratti, Marco Faustini, Cédric Boissière, David Grosso. Alcohol-Assisted Water Condensation and Stabilization into Hydrophobic Mesoporosity. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, American Chemical Society, 2014, 118 (41), pp.23907-23917. ⟨10.1021/jp508372d⟩. ⟨hal-01289941⟩



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