Mechanically stable flat anodic titania membranes for gas transport applications
Anodic titanium oxide (ATO) membranes were produced by two-step anodic oxidation of titanium foil in ethylene glycol electrolyte containing NH4F at the anodization voltage of 60 V. To provide the mechanical strength necessary for applying tubular anodic films as gas membranes, we utilized the formation of protective continuous TiO2 layer at the top film surface prior to second anodization. As compared to conventional two-step anodic oxidation this technique decreases dissolution rates of titanium oxide phases with oxidation states lower than +4 (Ti2O3, Ti3O5), which are forming between titania nanotubes during anodization. The structural parameters of anodic titania films were determined by small-angle X-ray scattering and scanning electron microscopy techniques. According to SEM the proposed method resulted in growth of ATO films with a flat surface without nanotube endings, which enabled to use the films as gas separation membranes. The permeance of individual gases through ATO membranes were found to depend on gas molecular weight (M−0.5), with absolute values twice exceeding theoretical permeabilities as it was predicted by Knudsen diffusion (up to 63 m3/(m2 × bar × h) for nitrogen at 298 K). Here we ascribe this phenomenon to diffusion according to Knudsen-Smoluchoski mechanism (diffusion with slip, involving specular reflections of molecules), which is appropriate for membranes with straight pores and smooth internal pore surfaces.
KeywordsPorous titanium oxide Anodic oxidation Anodic titania films Inorganic membranes Knudsen-Smoluchoski diffusion
This work was supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research (grants №№ 06-08-01443-a and 06-03-89506) and Russian Federal Agency for Science and Innovations (grant № 02.513.11.3488).
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