[en] Time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements performed during the formation of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) based silica gels in alcohol with 3-(2-aminoethylamino)propyltrimethoxysilane (EDAS) as an additive are reported. The measurements reveal no discontinuity of the nanostructure at the gel point. A chemically induced spinodal phase separation is found to give a coherent picture of the collected data. Increasing the amount of EDAS induces the phase separation on a smaller length scale, which finally leads to a modified gel morphology. The SAXS measurements and the electron micrographs associated with the dry gels could be interpreted in terms of the suggested wet gel formation mechanism.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS