Multiphase imaging of gas flow in a nanoporous material using remote-detection NMR

Elad Harel, Josef Granwehr, Juliette A. Seeley, Alex Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Pore structure and connectivity determine how microstructured materials perform in applications such as catalysis, fluid storage and transport, filtering or as reactors. We report a model study on silica aerogel using a time-of-flight magnetic resonance imaging technique to characterize the flow field and explain the effects of heterogeneities in the pore structure on gas flow and dispersion with 129Xe as the gas-phase sensor. The observed chemical shift allows the separate visualization of unrestricted xenon and xenon confined in the pores of the aerogel. The asymmetrical nature of the dispersion pattern alludes to the existence of a stationary and a flow regime in the aerogel. An exchange time constant is determined to characterize the gas transfer between them. As a general methodology, this technique provides insights into the dynamics of flow in porous media where several phases or chemical species may be present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalNature materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 16 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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