Journal of Membrane Science, Vol.379, No.1-2, 138-145, 2011
Characterization of porous materials using combined small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering techniques
A combination of ultra small angle X-ray scattering (USAXS) and ultra small angle neutron scattering (USANS) is used to characterize porous materials. The analysis methods yield quantitative information, including the mean skeletal chord length, mean pore chord length, skeletal density, and composition. A mixed cellulose ester (MCE) membrane with a manufacturer-labeled pore size of 0.1 mu m was used as a model to elucidate the specifics of the method. Four approaches describing four specific scenarios (different known parameters and form of the scattering data) are compared. Pore chords determined using all four approaches are in good agreement with the scanning electron microscopy estimates but are larger than the manufacturer's nominal pore size. Our approach also gives the average chord of the skeletal solid (struts) of the membrane, which is also consistent for all four approaches. Combined data from USAXS and USANS gives the skeletal density and the strut composition. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.