Mesoporous silica hybrid membranes for precise size-exclusive separation of silver nanoparticles

Moataz M. Mekawy, Akira Yamaguchi, Sherif A. El-Safty*, Tetsuji Itoh, Norio Teramae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


One-dimensional (1D) nanomaterials have unique applications due to their inherent physical properties. In this study, hexagonally ordered mesoporous silica hybrid anodic alumina membranes (AAM) were synthesized using template-guided synthesis with a number of nonionic n-alkyl-oligo(ethylene oxide), Brij-type (C. xEO. y), which are surfactants that have different molecular sizes and characteristics. The hexagonal mesoporous silicas are vertically aligned in the AAM channels with a predominantly columnar orientation. The hollow mesostructured silicas had tunable pore diameters varying from 3.7 to 5.1. nm. In this synthesis protocol, the surfactant molecular natures (corona/core features) are important for the controlled generation of ordered structures throughout AAM channels. The development of ultrafiltration membranes composed of silica mesostructures could be used effectively in separating silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in both aqueous and organic solution phases. This would be relevant to the production of well-defined Ag NPs with unique properties. To create a size-exclusive separation system of Ag NPs, we grafted hydrophobic trimethylsilyl (TMS) groups onto the inner pores of the mesoporous silica hybrid AAM. The immobilization of the TMS groups allowed the columnar mesoporous silica inside AAM to retain this inner pore order without distortion during the separation of solution-phase Ag NPs in organic solvents that may cause tortuous-pore membranes. Mesoporous TMS-silicas inside 1D AAM channels were applicable as a size-exclusive separation system to isolate organic solution-phase Ag NPs of uniform morphology and size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-358
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Membrane
  • Mesoporous silica
  • One-dimensional channels
  • Silver nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Mesoporous silica hybrid membranes for precise size-exclusive separation of silver nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this