Dynamic oscillatory shear measurements are used to probe the gelation kinetics of aqueous sols composed of either particulate silica or silicon alkoxide solution. Unlike steady shear measurements, these dynamic tests do not alter the structure and kinetics of the sol-gel process. The dynamic storage moduli of both systems show sharp transitions at the onset of gelation. However, the gelation kinetics of the two systems are very different; the modulus of alkoxide system remains unchanged until the gel point is reached, whereas that of the particulate system increases with time even below the gel point as the colloid cluster grow. Unlike the alkoxide gel, the particulate gel reverses to a sol upon shearing. The gelation kinetics of a resheared sample is slower than that of a fresh sample. The structures associated with the sol-gel transition for this particulate system have been monitored using freeze fracture microscopy and correlate with rheological observations. The gelation times for both sols are varied by changing the fluoride ion content.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry