Nanoporous materials are of great importance for our society, finding widespread applications, for example, as environment-friendly catalysts for the conversion of molecules into useful products, as traps for the capture of green-house gasses such as CO. The efficient development of these technologies crucially depends on the understanding of the molecular exchange between the nanopores and the surroundings of these materials.
For that reason, it is essential to have experimental tools that allow researchers to correctly determine the molecular transport mechanisms that occur during mass transfer with nanoporous materials. Very recently, we demonstrated, with advanced micro-imaging techniques, that conventional methods may lead to erroneous conclusions on the mass transfer mechanisms and the related material properties.
This project proposal is, therefore, focused on the further development of the advanced microimaging techniques. In short, these techniques require an advanced detection method and a precise gas-dosing system to initiate the mass transfer with the nanoporous materials. While an advanced infrared microscope has been recently acquired (Hercules Fund, promoter-spokesperson Prof. H.
Terryn), the aspirant hope to receive an FWO Research Grant to support the development of a gasdosing system which allows to contact the nanoporous materials at precise gas/vapor pressures and compositions.