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Langmuir. 2005 Aug 30;21(18):8180-7.

Dual latex/surfactant templating of hollow spherical silica particles with ordered mesoporous shells.

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Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506, USA.


Hollow spherical silica particles with hexagonally ordered mesoporous shells are synthesized with the dual use of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and unmodified polystyrene latex microspheres as templates in concentrated aqueous ammonia. In most of the hollow mesoporous particles, cylindrical pores run parallel to the hollow core due to interactions of CTAB/silica aggregates with the latices. Effects on the product structure of the CTAB:latex ratio, the amount of aqueous ammonia, and the latex size are studied. Hollow particles with hexagonally patterned mesoporous shells are obtained at moderate CTAB:latex ratios. Too little CTAB causes silica shell growth without surfactant templating, and too much induces nucleation of new mesoporous silica particles without latex cores. The concentration of ammonia must be large to induce co-assembly of CTAB, silica, and latex into dispersed particles. The results are consistent with the formation of particles by addition of CTAB/silica aggregates to the surface of latex microspheres. When the size and number density of the latex microspheres are changed, the size of the hollow core and the shell thickness can be controlled. However, if the microspheres are too small (50 nm in this case), agglomerated particles with many hollow voids are obtained, most likely due to colloidal instability.

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