Effect of (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane on dissolution of silica nanoparticles synthesized via reverse micro emulsion

Hyunho Kang, Jihyeon Lee, Tana L O'Keefe, Beza Tuga, Christopher J. Hogan, Christy L. Haynes

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Silica nanomaterials have been studied based on their potential applications in a variety of fields, including biomedicine and agriculture. A number of different molecules have been condensed onto silica nanoparticles’ surfaces to present the surface chemistry needed for a given application. Among those molecules, (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APS) is one of the most commonly applied silanes used for nanoparticle surface functionalization to achieve charge reversal as well as to enable cargo loading. However, the colloidal stability of APS-functionalized silica nanoparticles has not been thoroughly studied, which can be problematic when the high reactivity of amine groups is considered. In this study, four different types of silica nanoparticles with varied location of added APS have been prepared via a reverse micro emulsion process, and their colloidal stability and dissolution behavior have been investigated. Systematic characterization has been accomplished using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), silicomolybdic acid (SMA) spectrophotometric assay, nitrogen adsorption-desorption surface area measurement, and aerosol ion mobility-mass spectrometry to track the nanoparticles’ physical and chemical changes during dissolution. We find that when APS is on the interior of the silica nanoparticle, it facilitates dissolution, but when APS is condensed both on the interior and exterior, only the exterior siloxane bonds experience catalytic hydrolysis, and the interior dissolution is dramatically suppressed. The observation and analyses that silica nanoparticles show different hydrolysis behaviors dependent on the location of the functional group will be important in future design of silica nanoparticles for specific biomedical and agricultural applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9021-9030
Number of pages10
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 6 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-2001611, the NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology (CSN). The CSN is part of the Centers for Chemical Innovation Program. Parts of this work, especially TEM characterization, were carried out in the Characterization Facility at the University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program (DMR-1420013). This work was also supported by the National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Training Grant to T. L. O. (Grant T32-GM008347). Measurement of the silicon solid state NMR data found in the ESI was performed by Dr Alejandro Vidal, Dr Carla Maria Vidaurre Agut, and Prof. Pablo Botella Asunción at Instituto de Tecnología Química, Universitat Politècnica de València-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Aerosol IM-MS measurements were supported by NSF Grant No. 2002852.

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© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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