Contact angle measurement and its application to sol-gel processing

D. J. Stein, A. Maskara, S. Haereid, J. Anderson, D. M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Capillary stresses during drying that result from the contact angle of a liquid solvent to a gel, surface tension, and pore size have an immense effect on the dried gel. The extent to which the gel shrinks is a balance between the capillary stress and the solid matrix strength. The dynamic contact angles andsurface tensions of various solvents commonly employed in sol-gel processing on silica gels of various surface chemistries have been evaluated. A thin, dense coating of silica gel was formed by dip coating a standard glass slide in an acid catalyzed silica sol and drying. Some of the sample surfaces were organically modified. Dynamic contact angles were determined using a modified Wilhelmy plate technique. Solvent surface tensions were determined using the De Nouy ring technique. The bulk modulus of wet gels were determined with a three point bend experiment. We have found that contrary to previous investigators, who attributed different bulk densities obtained after drying from various alcohols to contact angles variations, gel shrinkage during drying is actually due to slightly different surface tensions and degrees of depolymerization of the gel network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-658
Number of pages16
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1994
EventProceedings of the 1994 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Apr 5 1994Apr 8 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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