Using small angle scattering to understand low molecular weight gels

McDowall, D., Adams, D. J. and Seddon, A. M. (2022) Using small angle scattering to understand low molecular weight gels. Soft Matter, 18(8), pp. 1577-1590. (doi: 10.1039/D1SM01707A) (PMID:35147629)

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The material properties of a gel are determined by the underpinning network that immobilises the solvent. When gels are formed by the self-assembly of small molecules into a so-called low molecular weight gel, the network is result of the molecules forming one-dimensional objects such as fibres or nanotubes which entangle or otherwise cross-link to form a three-dimensional network. Characterising the one-dimensional objects and the network is difficult. Many conventional techniques rely on drying to probe the network, which often leads to artefacts. An effective tool to probe the gel in the solvated state is small angle scattering. Both small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) can be used. Here, we discuss these approaches and provide a tutorial review to decribe how these approaches work, what opportunities there are and how the data treatment should be approached. We aim to show the power of this approach and provide enabling information to make them accessible to the non-specialist.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We thank the Leverhulme Trust for funding (RPG-2018-013).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Adams, Dave and McDowall, Mr Daniel
Authors: McDowall, D., Adams, D. J., and Seddon, A. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Soft Matter
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN (Online):1744-6848
Published Online:07 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry
First Published:First published in Soft Matter 18(8): 1577-1590
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300445Gel-based Photoelectrodes for Clean FuelsDave AdamsLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RPG-2018-013Chemistry