Sol-gel strategies for controlled porosity inorganic materials

C. J. Brinker, R. Sehgal, S. L. Hietala, R. Deshpande, D. M. Smith, D. Loy, C. S. Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations


The porosity (i.e., pore volume, pore size, and surface area) of ceramic materials prepared by sol-gel processing depends on the size and structure of primary particles or polymers formed by condensation reactions, the organization of these structures, often by aggregation, to form a gel, and the collapse of the gel by drying. This paper reviews these ideas in the context of the formation of thin films suitable for inorganic membranes and introduces a number of specific strategies designed to control pore sizes in the range appropriate for gas separation: (1) aggregation of fractals; (2) management of capillary pressure, (3) control of condensation rate, and (4) the use of organic or microporous templates in composite thin film structures. These strategies are contrasted with the more traditional particle packing approach to preparing controlled porosity materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-102
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 19 1994


  • composite membranes
  • gas separations
  • glass membranes
  • inorganic membranes
  • microporous and porous membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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