Deformation of Microporous Carbon during Adsorption of Nitrogen, Argon, Carbon Dioxide, and Water Studied by in Situ Dilatometry

Christian Balzer, Stephan Braxmeier, Alexander V. Neimark, Gudrun Reichenauer

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Adsorption-induced deformation of a monolithic, synthetic carbon of clearly distinguishable micro- and mesoporosity was analyzed by in situ dilatometry with N2 (77 K), Ar (77 K), CO2 (273 K), and H2O (298 K). A characteristic nonmonotonic shape of the strain isotherm showing contraction of the sample at initial micropore adsorption followed by expansion toward completion of micropore filling was found for all adsorbates. However, the extent of contraction and expansion varied significantly with the adsorbate type. The deformation differences observed were compared with the density ratio of the adsorbates within the micropores and the respective unconfined fluids. In particular, CO2 caused the least contraction of the sample, while in parallel adsorbed CO2 molecules were predicted to be considerably compacted inside carbon micropores compared to bulk liquid CO2. On the contrary, the packing of H2O molecules within carbon micropores is less dense than in the bulk liquid and adsorption of H2O produced the most pronounced contraction. N2 and Ar, both exhibiting essentially the same densities in adsorbed and bulk liquid phase, induced very similar deformation of the sample. These findings support theoretical predictions, which correlate adsorption-induced deformation and packing of molecules adsorbed in micropores. Additionally for the first time, we demonstrated with the N2 strain isotherm the existence of two nonmonotonic stages of subsequent contraction and expansion in the regions of micropore and mesopore filling. This characteristic behavior is expected for any micro- and mesoporous material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12512-12519
Number of pages8
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Oct 27 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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