Porous vycor glass: The microstructure as probed by electron microscopy, direct energy transfer, small-angle scattering, and molecular adsorption
We provide a comprehensive analysis of the microstructure of the porous glass, vycor. Using transmission electron microscopy, small-angle x-ray scattering, molecular adsorption, and the dynamic process of direct energy transfer, a consistent picture of the mass, pore, and interfacial features of this material is presented. From a transmission-electron-microscopy image of an ultrathin section of vycor the material appears to have a homogeneous distribution of mass with no hierarchical organization. The pore interface exhibits a roughness which is probed by both small-angle x-ray scattering and molecular adsorption. The roughness has an upper cutoff of <20 Å which is not resolved in the transmission-electron-microscopy image and is shown to be unimportant to the dynamics of the direct energy transfer process. The dimensionality probed by direct energy transfer is shown to be related to interfacial geometrical crossover from two dimensional to three dimensional, which is characterized by a persistent length of the interface of 45 Å.