High-pressure synthesis of mesoporous stishovite: potential applications in mineral physics
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Recently, we have described a successful synthesis route to obtain mesoporous quartz and its high-pressure polymorph coesite by nanocasting at high pressure using periodic mesostructured precursors, such as SBA-16 and FDU-12/carbon composite as starting materials. Periodic mesoporous high-pressure silica polymorphs are of particular interest as they combine transport properties and physical properties such as hardness that potentially enable the industrial use of these materials. In addition, synthesis of mesoporous crystalline silica phases can allow more detailed geology-related studies such as water/mineral interaction, dissolution/crystallization rate and the surface contribution to the associated thermodynamic stability (free energy and enthalpy) of the various polymorphs and their crossover. Here, we present results of synthesis of mesoporous stishovite from cubic large-pore periodic mesoporous silica LP-FDU-12/C composite as precursor with an fcc lattice. We describe the synthesis procedure using multi-anvil apparatus at 9 GPa (about 90,000 atm) and temperature of 500 °C. The synthetic mesoporous stishovite is, then, characterized by wide and small-angle X-ray diffraction, scanning/transmission electron microscopy and gas adsorption. Results show that this new material is characterized by accessible mesopores with wide pore size distribution, surface area of ~45 m2/g and volume of pores of ~0.15 cm3/g. Results from gas adsorption indicate that both porosity and permeability are retained at the high pressures of synthesis but with weak periodic order of the pores.
KeywordsStishovite SiO2 polymorphs Mesoporous materials FDU-12 Carbon Pore size distribution
This work was supported as part of Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments Center (EFree), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science under Award Number DE-SC0001057. V.S gratefully acknowledges financial support from WDC Research Fund at the Geophysical Laboratory.
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