Diffusion of metal complexes inside of silica-surfactant nanochannels within a porous alumina membrane

Akira Yamaguchi, Moataz M. Mekawy, Yong Chen, Shintaro Suzuki, Kotaro Morita, Norio Teramae

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper describes diffusivities of a series of metal complexes inside of silica-surfactant nanochannels (channel diameter = 3.4 nm), which were formed within a porous alumina membrane by a surfactant-templated method using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a template surfactant. The metal complexes used in this study were Fe(CN)6 3-, Ru(NH 3)6 3-, ferrocenecarboxylic acid (Fc-COO -), (ferrocenylmethyl)-trimethylammonium (Fc-NMe3 +), N,N-(dimethylamminomethyl)ferrocene (Fc-NMe2), and ferrocene methanol (Fc-OH). Apparent diffusion coefficients of these metal complexes were estimated by measuring their mass transports through the silica-surfactant nanochannels. The estimated apparent diffusion coefficients were on the order of 10-11 cm2 s-1 for Fe(CN)6 3- and Ru(NH3)6 3-, and these values were five orders of magnitude smaller than those in a bulk aqueous solution. For the ferrocene derivatives, the apparent diffusion coefficients of charged ferrocene derivatives are almost the same (5.3 × 10-11 cm2 s-1 for Fc-COO- and 5.4 × 10-11 cm2 s-1 for Fc-NMe 3 +), whereas neutral ferrocene derivatives (Fc-NMe 2 and Fc-OH) show faster diffusion than the charged species. In addition, the apparent diffusion coefficient of Fc-NMe2 (27 × 10-11 cm2 s-1) was about three times larger than mat of Fc-OH (10 × 10-11 cm2 s-1). The difference in these diffusion coefficients is discussed by considering the mesostructure of the silica-surfactant nanochannels, that is, an ionic interface with cationic head groups of CTA and their counteranions, a hydrophobic interior of the micellar phase, and a silica framework. As a result, it is inferred that the slow diffusivities of the charged metal complexes are due to the electrostatic interaction between the charged species and the ionic interface, whereas less interaction between neutral ferrocenes and the ionic interface causes distribution of metal complexes into the hydrophobic micellar phase, which is a less viscous medium compared to the ionic interface, resulting in the faster diffusivities of the neutral species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2024-2030
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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