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Nanomaterials 2015, 5(4), 2192-2202; doi:10.3390/nano5042192

Morphological, Chemical Surface, and Diffusive Transport Characterizations of a Nanoporous Alumina Membrane

1
Department of Applied Physics I, Faculty of Sciences, University of Málaga, E-29071 Málaga, Spain
2
Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Oviedo, E-33007 Oviedo, Spain
3
Institute of Applied Physics, University of Hamburg, 20355-Hamburg, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jordi Sort, Eva Pellicer and Thomas Nann
Received: 27 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 5 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mesoporous Nanomaterials)
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Abstract

Synthesis of a nanoporous alumina membrane (NPAM) by the two-step anodization method and its morphological and chemical surface characterization by analyzing Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) micrographs and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) spectra is reported. Influence of electrical and diffusive effects on the NaCl transport across the membrane nanopores is determined from salt diffusion measurements performed with a wide range of NaCl concentrations, which allows the estimation of characteristic electrochemical membrane parameters such as the NaCl diffusion coefficient and the concentration of fixed charges in the membrane, by using an appropriated model and the membrane geometrical parameters (porosity and pore length). These results indicate a reduction of ~70% in the value of the NaCl diffusion coefficient through the membrane pores with respect to solution. The transport number of ions in the membrane pores (Na+ and Cl, respectively) were determined from concentration potential measurements, and the effect of concentration-polarization at the membrane surfaces was also considered by comparing concentration potential values obtained with stirred solutions (550 rpm) and without stirring. From both kinds of results, a value higher than 0.05 M NaCl for the feed solution seems to be necessary to neglect the contribution of electrical interactions in the diffusive transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoporous alumina membrane; SEM analysis; diffusion coefficients; ion transport numbers nanoporous alumina membrane; SEM analysis; diffusion coefficients; ion transport numbers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vázquez, M.I.; Romero, V.; Vega, V.; García, J.; Prida, V.M.; Hernando, B.; Benavente, J. Morphological, Chemical Surface, and Diffusive Transport Characterizations of a Nanoporous Alumina Membrane. Nanomaterials 2015, 5, 2192-2202.

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