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Investigation of Confined Ionic Liquid in Nanostructured Materials by a Combination of SANS, Contrast-Matching SANS, and Nitrogen Adsorption

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journal contribution
posted on 05.07.2011, 00:00 by Konstantinos L. Stefanopoulos, George E. Romanos, Olga C. Vangeli, Konstantina Mergia, Nick K. Kanellopoulos, Alexandros Koutsioubas, Didier Lairez
Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), contrast-matching SANS, and nitrogen adsorption have been utilized to investigate the confined ionic liquid (IL) [bmim][PF6] phase in ordered mesoporous silica MCM-41 and SBA-15. The results suggest that the pores of SBA-15 are completely filled with IL whereas a small fraction of the pore volume, the pore “core”, of MCM-41 is empty. The contrast-matching SANS measurements confirm the enhanced solubility of water in IL. In addition, they provide strong evidence that water does not enter the empty pore core of MCM-41, possibly because of the preferred orientation of the IL molecules in the adsorbed layer.