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DLS and SAXS investigations of organic gels and aerogels

Abstract : Recent investigations have shown that the structure of organic aerogels can be significantly modified by changing the precursors, the solvent and the nature of the catalyst involved in the sol-gel reaction. It is therefore highly desirable to investigate the sol-gel mechanism. For this purpose, dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements have been performed at different stages of the reaction for base- or acid-catalyzed gelation of resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) using water or acetone as solvents. The structure of aged gels was investigated by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and compared to that of the aerogels obtained after exchange of solvent by supercritical CO2 and drying of the aged gels. It is shown that acid-catalyzed gelation of RF in acetone can be described by percolation, which explains that this series of aerogels consists of mass fractal aggregates (Dm = 2.5). The partial collapse of this polymeric gel yielding colloidal particles in the aerogel can be attributed to deswelling in supercritical CO2. DLS indicates that gelation of RF with a base catalyst yields a colloidal gel whose structure remains practically unchanged in the aerogel, as shown by SAXS.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 2:43:26 PM
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Sandrine Berthon-Fabry, Olivier Barbieri, Françoise Ehrburger-Dolle, Erik Geissler, Patrick Achard, et al.. DLS and SAXS investigations of organic gels and aerogels. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, Elsevier, 2001, 285 (1-3), pp.Pages 154-161. ⟨10.1016/S0022-3093(01)00447-1⟩. ⟨hal-00523875⟩



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