Gericke, E.; Wallacher, D.; Wendt, R.; Greco, G.; Krumrey, M.; Raoux, S.; Hoell, A.; Mascotto, S.: Direct Observation of the Xenon Physisorption Process in Mesopores by Combining In Situ Anomalous Small-Angle X-ray Scattering and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 12 (2021), p. 4018-4023
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The morphology and structural changes of confined matter are still far from being understood. This report deals with the development of a novel in situ method based on the combination of anomalous small-angle X-ray scattering (ASAXS) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy to directly probe the evolution of the xenon adsorbate phase in mesoporous silicon during gas adsorption at 165 K. The interface area and size evolution of the confined xenon phase were determined via ASAXS demonstrating that filling and emptying the pores follow two distinct mechanisms. The mass density of the confined xenon was found to decrease prior to pore emptying. XANES analyses showed that Xe exists in two different states when confined in mesopores. This combination of methods provides a smart new tool for the study of nanoconfined matter for catalysis, gas, and energy storage applications.