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Sol-to-gel transition in fast evaporating systems observed by in situ time-resolved infrared spectroscopy

Innocenzi, Plinio and Malfatti, Luca and Carboni, Davide and Takahashi, Masahide (2015) Sol-to-gel transition in fast evaporating systems observed by in situ time-resolved infrared spectroscopy. ChemPhysChem (in press). eISSN 1439-7641. Article.

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DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201500126


The in situ observation of a sol-to-gel transition in fast evaporating systems is a challenging task and the lack of a suitable experimental design, which includes the chemistry and the analytical method, has limited the observations. We synthesise an acidic sol, employing only tetraethylorthosilicate, SiCl4 as catalyst and deuterated water; the absence of water added to the sol allows us to follow the absorption from the external environment and the evaporation of deuterated water. The time-resolved data, obtained by attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy on an evaporating droplet, enables us to identify four different stages during evaporation. They are linked to specific hydrolysis and condensation rates that affect the uptake of water from external environment. The second stage is characterized by a decrease in hydroxyl content, a fast rise of condensation rate and an almost stationary absorption of water. This stage has been associated with the sol-to-gel transition.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:10967
Status:In Press
Uncontrolled Keywords:Absorption, infrared spectroscopy, silica, sol–gel transitions, time-resolved analysis
Subjects:Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-IND/22 Scienza e tecnologia dei materiali
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Architettura, Design e Urbanistica
Deposited On:11 Jun 2015 17:24

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