Property Changes of Multiphasic Fluids by Geometrical Confinement in Advanced Mesoporous Materials
Fluids confined in nanometer-size porous geometry exhibit unique properties that have no equivalent in the corresponding bulk systems. As such, they deserve an extensive interest for their high potential of technological innovation. In this context, the scientific community has been encouraged to improve the ground basis knowledge of nanoconfined liquids. During the last decade, an impressive number of physico-chemical properties have been studied when confining a fluid in a mesoporous medium. As a whole, it appears that the nature of the surface-liquid interaction and the geometric parameters of confinement readily affect the phase behavior, structure, dynamics and fluid flow, leading to original physico-chemical phenomena.The next step in the field would be to direct the (new) properties of nanofluids in a desired manner. Many of the studied systems comprised a single fluid phase confined in a ‘passive’ porous material, which is seen as a bottleneck to such developments. For this reason, the intension of the NanoLiquids project, is to explore the properties of new systems that would allow for an unprecedented control of interfaces based on the nanoconfinement of multicomponent fluids into functionalized porous materials with periodically alternating surface chemistry. Starting from examinations of the mesoscale structure and dynamics of the bulk binary systems the physico-chemical properties of mixtures confined in tailored mesoporous media shall be explored. In particular effects such as microphase separation, enhanced gas solubility and confinement-induced changes in the fluid rheology as well as the interplay of these phenomenologies will be in the research focus. These studies will be possible only by the combination of an extensive number of complementary methods and skills in physics and chemistry, both experimental and numerical, encompassing temporal and spatial windows that range from the molecular to the macroscopic scales and provide a strong added value to the proposed French-German collaboration.