B1 Self-diffusion and transport of molecular fluids in granular packings of mesoporous silicate and aerogel powders

PhD candidate:

Juan Sánchez Calzado


Project description:

Fluid transport in nanopores plays a dominant role in a variety of natural and technological processes, from water transport in soils and rocks to oil recovery. In particular, capillary-driven spontaneous imbibition and adsorption/desorption processes in natural and artificial porous media have received widespread attention in both basic and applied sciences in recent years. The pure geometric constraint and the interaction between the fluid and the solid matrix can lead to significant deviations from the volume behavior of the fluid.

Here we aim to explore the self-diffusion and transport behavior of water and other fluids in artificial porous media ranging from monolithic silica glass (Vycor), porous carbons, and silica aerogels to granular packings of ordered mesoporous glasses such as SBA-15 and MCM-41.


Prof. Dr. Patrick Huber, Prof. Dr. Robert Meißner


Prof. Howard A. Stone, Princeton University



  • Gravimetric and volumetric infiltration measurements
  • Imbibition-induced deformation mesured via in-situ dilatometry
  • Imaging techniques, e.g., X-ray-based 4D tomography, optical imaging, and time-dependent small-angle X-ray scattering
  • Imaging techniques, e.g., X-ray-based 4D tomography, optical imaging, and time-dependent small-angle X-ray scattering



  • Continuum mechanics and Darcy flow description
  • Lattice-Boltzmann simulation for capillary-driven water flow



 Figure 1: Schematic representation of our dilatometry experiment: left: Porous matrix that expands when water enters. Right: Model of the flow dynamics on the single pore scale.



Project-related Publications

  • Sánchez J., Li Z., Foeba M., Huber P. (2019): »Imbibition-Induced Deformation Dynamics in NanoporousMedia. APS Division of Fluid Dynamics«. In:APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Abstract id.P38.002. Bibcode:2019APS..DFDP38002S2)
  • Sánchez J., Gallardo L., Tetzner Y., Sadeghian P., Gäding J., Meißner R., Huber P. (2022): Imbibitionand Wetting Front Broadening in Mesoporous Silica Glass. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Natural and technical Particle-Fluid-Systems 2022 in Hamburg/Germany, Veröffentlichungen des Institutsfür Geotechnik und Baubetrieb der Technischen Universität Hamburg, Heft 54, S. 127–141, DOI: 10.15480/882.4640
  • Gäding, J., Tocci, G. Sánchez J., Huber P. und Meißner R. (2022): Molecular Dynamic studies of liquid / solid interfaces in aqueos and ionic liquid systems. In: Tagungsband zum Workshop des GRK 2462 „Processes in natural and technical Particle-Fluid-Systems (PintPFS)“ 2022, Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Geotechnik und Baubetrieb, Heft 54, S. 65-77, DOI: 10.15480/882.4640
  • Gallardo L., Sánchez J., Belleza H., Vincent O., Huber P. (2022): The Interplay of Water Spreading,Evaporation and Imbibition at Nanoporous Silicon Surfaces. In: Album of Porous Media: Structure and Dynamics, E. F. Medici and AD. Otero (eds.), Springer (in press)


Conference Contributions

  • 23./26.11.2019 72nd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Seattle, Washington (USA);Imbibition-Induced Deformation Dynamics in Nanoporous Media (Vortrag)
  • 25./28.02.2020 DESY water week 2020 (forum), Hamburg (Germany); Water imbibition-induced deformationdynamics in nanoporous media (Poster)

  • 31.05./04.06.2021 13th Annual Meeting InterPore 2021 (online); Imbibition-Induced Deformation in NanoporousVycor Glass (Vortrag)

  • 04./06.10.2021 7th International Conference on Particle-Based Methods, Hamburg (Germany) Imbibition-InducedDeformation in Nanoporous Vycor Glass (Vortrag)

  • 23.10.2021 74th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Phoenix, Arizona (USA); Imbibition-Induced Deformation in Nanoporous Vycor Glass (online Vortrag)

  • 15./19.08.2021 APS March Annual Meeting, Chicago (USA); Imbibition- and Drying-Induced Deformation of Nanoporous Solids (Vortrag)

  • 04./09.09.2022 DPG 2022 (DPG Meeting of the Condensed Matter Section), Regensburg (Deutschland); Imbibition-and Drying-Induced deformation of Nanoporous Solids (Vortrag)

  • 26./27.09.2022 International Conference on Processes in Natural and Technical Particle-Fluid Systems, Hamburg (Deutschland); Imbibition and Wetting Front Broadening in Mesoporous Silica Glass (Vortrag)