Adsorption of simple fluid on silica surface and nanopore: effect of surface chemistry and pore shape.

Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, CNRS (UMR 5253) and Université Montpellier 2, Montpellier, France.
Langmuir (Impact Factor: 4.38). 07/2008; 24(14):7285-93. DOI: 10.1021/la800567g
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reports a molecular simulation study on the adsorption of simple fluids (argon at 77 K) on hydroxylated silica surfaces and nanopores. The effect of surface chemistry is addressed by considering substrates with either partially or fully hydroxylated surfaces. We also investigate the effect of pore shape on adsorption and capillary condensation by comparing the results for cylindrical and hexagonal nanopores having equivalent sections (i.e., equal section areas). Due to the increase in the polarity of the surface with the density of OH groups, the adsorbed amounts for fully hydroxylated surfaces are found to be larger than those for partially hydroxylated surfaces. Both the adsorption isotherms for the cylindrical and hexagonal pores conform to the typical behavior observed in the experiments for adsorption/condensation in cylindrical nanopores MCM-41. Capillary condensation occurs through an irreversible discontinuous transition between the partially filled and the completely filled configurations, while evaporation occurs through the displacement at equilibrium of a hemispherical meniscus along the pore axis. Our data are also used to discuss the effect of surface chemistry and pore shape on the BET method. The BET surface for fully hydroxylated surfaces is much larger (by 10-20%) than the true geometrical surface. In contrast, the BET surface significantly underestimates the true surface when partially hydroxylated surfaces are considered. These results suggest that the surface chemistry and the choice of the system adsorbate/adsorbent is crucial in determining the surface area of solids using the BET method.

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