Local quantification of mesoporous silica microspheres using multiscale electron tomography and lattice Boltzmann simulations
Journal article, 2020

The multiscale pore structure of mesoporous silica microspheres plays an important role for tuning mass transfer kinetics in technological applications such as liquid chromatography. While local analysis of a pore network in such materials has been previously achieved, multiscale quantification of microspheres down to the nanometer scale pore level is still lacking. Here we demonstrate for the first time, by combining low convergence angle scanning transmission electron microscopy tomography (LC-STEM tomography) with image analysis and lattice Boltzmann simulations, that the multiscale pore network of commercial mesoporous silica microspheres can be quantified. This includes comparing the local tortuosity and intraparticle diffusion coefficients between different regions within the same microsphere. The results, spanning more than two orders of magnitude between nanostructures and entire object, are in good agreement with bulk characterization techniques such as nitrogen gas physisorption and add valuable local information for tuning mass transfer behavior (in liquid chromatography or catalysis) on the single microsphere level.

Scanning transmission electron microscopy

Quantitative electron tomography

Intraparticle diffusivity

Lattice Boltzmann simulations

Mesoporous silica


Andreas J. Fijneman

Eindhoven University of Technology

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals AB

Maurits Goudzwaard

Eindhoven University of Technology

Arthur D.A. Keizer

Eindhoven University of Technology

Paul H.H. Bomans

Eindhoven University of Technology

Tobias Gebäck

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

M. Palmlof

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals AB

Michael Persson

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals AB

Joakim Högblom

Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals AB

Gijsbertus de With

Eindhoven University of Technology

Heiner Friedrich

Eindhoven University of Technology

Microporous and Mesoporous Materials

1387-1811 (ISSN)

Vol. 302 110243

Subject Categories

Other Computer and Information Science

Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)

Medical Image Processing



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