ISGS eSeminar, April 2024


Interconnected macroporosity tailoring within 

confined spaces: MICROSCAFS® 

Ana C. Marques

CERENA, Department of Chemical Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal


Creating an interconnected network of both macropores and mesopores within hybrid or inorganic materials makes them attractive across different applications. The challenge arises when tailoring these features within confined spaces, i.e. within the water droplets of a water-in-oil microemulsion, and without the use of specific gela-tion additives, or porogens, while keeping reproducibility standards. This lecture focuses on an adapted sol-gel process combined with phase separation by spinodal decomposition, optimized for the creation of meso- and macroporous microspheres of multicomponent oxide composition, of brand name MICROSCAFS®. An insight into their step-by-step formation process is given, as well as the influence of varying reaction parameters on the MICROSCAFS® morphology and the effect of replacing standard silicon alkoxides by alternative waste sources namely rice husk silica in their production, aligning with principles of circular economy and sustainability. Their potential application, with emphasis on solar light-driven photocatalytic water purification, will be described, targeting real-life application set-ups.

Besides the above aspects, I will refer in this lecture how sol-gel science and technology have been present in my career pathway from University to the Industry, and then back to the Academia with the settlement of the Technology Platform on Microencapsulation and Immobilization (TPMI).

It is our pleasure to invite you to join the ISGS eSeminar for April 2024, which will be delivered by Professor Ana C. Marques on Tuesday 30 April. Ana joins us from the Chemical Engineering Department, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, Portugal and is the leader of the Solar2Clean Project. Please click here to learn more about her research and interesting career journey.


Tuesday 30 April


  • ZOOM (eSeminar link), Meeting ID: 307 291 6432 Passcode: zDaYdXhB


  • 09:00 – USA (East Coast)
  • 10:00 – Chile, Brazil (São Paulo) and Argentina
  • 13:00 – UTC
  • 14:00 – UK, Portugal
  • 15:00 – Central Europe, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland
  • 16:00 – Romania, Israel, Eastern Europe, Ukraine
  • 16:00 – Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg)
  • 21:00 – China, Singapore, Malaysia
  • 22:00 – Japan, Korea
  • 23:00 – Australia (East Coast)