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Nat Mater. 2004 May;3(5):337-41. Epub 2004 Apr 11.

Self-assembly of a silica-surfactant nanocomposite in a porous alumina membrane.

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Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan.


A mesoporous membrane composed of nanochannels with a uniform diameter has a potential use for precise size-exclusive separation of molecules. Here, we report a novel method to form a hybrid membrane composed of silica-surfactant nanocomposite and a porous alumina membrane, by which size-selective transport of molecules across the membrane becomes possible. The nanocomposite formed inside each columnar alumina pore was an assembly of surfactant-templated silica-nanochannels with a channel diameter of 3.4 nm; the channel direction being predominantly oriented along the wall of the columnar alumina pore. Molecules could be transported across the membrane including the silica-surfactant nanocomposite with a capability of nanometre-order size-exclusive separation. Our proposed membrane system has a potential use not only for separation science, but also catalysis and chip technologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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