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Nano Lett. 2006 Dec;6(12):2925-8.

Silica hollow spheres with nano-macroholes like diatomaceous earth.

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  • 1Kansai Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-8-31 Midorigaoka, Ikeda, Osaka 563-8577, Japan.


Artificial synthesis of hollow cell walls of diatoms is an ultimate target of nanomaterial science. The addition of some water-soluble polymers such as sodium polymethacrylate to a solution of water/oil/water emulsion system, which is an essential step of the simple synthetic procedure of silica hollow spheres (microcapsules), led to the formation of silica hollow spheres with nano-macroholes (>100 nm) in their shell walls, the morphologies of which are analogous to those of diatom earth.

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