Synthesis of Porous Hollow Organosilica Particles with Tunable Shell Thickness

Mohammed A. Al-Khafaji, Anikó Gaál, Bálint Jezsó, Judith Mihály, Dorota Bartczak, Heidi Goenaga-Infante, Zoltán Varga

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Abstract

Porous hollow silica particles possess promising applications in many fields, ranging from drug delivery to catalysis. From the synthesis perspective, the most challenging parameters are the monodispersity of the size distribution and the thickness and porosity of the shell of the particles. This paper demonstrates a facile two-pot approach to prepare monodisperse porous-hollow silica particles with uniform spherical shape and well-tuned shell thickness. In this method, a series of porous-hollow inorganic and organic-inorganic core-shell silica particles were synthesized via hydrolysis and condensation of 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl) ethane (BTEE) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) in the presence of hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a structure-directing agent on solid silica spheres as core templates. Finally, the core templates were removed via hydrothermal treatment under alkaline conditions. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to characterize the particles morphology and size distribution, while the changes in the chemical composition during synthesis were followed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS) was applied to assess the monodispersity of the hollow particles prepared with different reaction parameters. We found that the presence of BTEE is key to obtaining a well-defined shell structure, and the increase in the concentration of the precursor and the surfactant increases the thickness of the shell. TEM and spICP-MS measurements revealed that fused particles are also formed under suboptimal reaction parameters, causing the broadening of the size distribution, which can be preceded by using appropriate concentrations of BTEE, CTAB, and ammonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1172
JournalNanomaterials
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was partially funded by the EMPIR programme, co-financed by the Participating States and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant number 18HLT01 METVES II and by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, grant number K131594. ZV was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by the EMPIR programme, co-financed by the Partic-ipating States and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant number 18HLT01 METVES II and by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, grant number K131594. ZV was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.The authors thank András Wacha for the SAXS measurements.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl) ethane
  • organosilica
  • porous hollow silica particles
  • spICP-MS

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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