Magnetically induced structural anisotropy in binary colloidal gels and its effect on diffusion and pressure driven permeability

Christoffer Abrahamsson*, Lars Nordstierna, Johan Bergenholtz, Annika Altskär, Magnus Nydén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


We report on the synthesis, microstructure and mass transport properties of a colloidal hydrogel self-assembled from a mixture of colloidal silica and nontronite clay plates at different particle concentrations. The gel-structure had uniaxial long-range anisotropy caused by alignment of the clay particles in a strong external magnetic field. After gelation the colloidal silica covered the clay particle network, fixing the orientation of the clay plates. Comparing gels with a clay concentration between 0 and 0.7 vol%, the magnetically oriented gels had a maximum water permeability and self-diffusion coefficient at 0.3 and 0.7 vol% clay, respectively. Hence the specific clay concentration resulting in the highest liquid flux was pressure dependent. This study gives new insight into the effect of anisotropy, particle concentration and bound water on mass transport properties in nano/microporous materials. Such findings merit consideration when designing porous composite materials for use in for example fuel cell, chromatography and membrane technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4403-4412
Number of pages10
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

A correction exists for this article and can be found in Soft Matter, 11(35), p.7066, doi: 10.1039/C5SM90143J.


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