We propose a new mechanism to create self-assembled porous media with highly tunable geometrical properties and permeabilities: We first allow a particle-stabilized emulsion to form from a mixture of two fluids and colloidal particles. Then, either one fluid phase or the particle layer is solidified, which can be achieved by techniques such as polymerization or freezing. Based on computer simulations we demonstrate that modifying only the particle wettability or concentration results in porous structures with a wide range of pore sizes and a permeability that can be varied by up to three orders of magnitude. We then discuss optimization of these properties for self-assembled filters or reactors and conclude that structures based on so-called "bijels" are most suitable candidates.
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 13 aug 2014|