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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1430. doi: 10.1038/srep01430.

Highly monodisperse microporous polymeric and carbonaceous nanospheres with multifunctional properties.

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  • 1Materials Science Institute, PCFM Lab, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, P. R. China.


Fabrication of monodisperse porous polymeric nanospheres with diameters below 500 nm remains a great challenge, due to serious crosslinking between neighboring nanospheres during pore-making process. Here we show how a versatile hypercrosslinking strategy can be used to prepare monodisperse microporous polystyrene nanospheres (MMPNSs) with diameters as low as ca. 190 nm. In our approach, an unreactive crosslinked PS outer skin as protective layer can be in-situ formed at the very beginning of hypercrosslinking treatment to minimize the undesired inter-sphere crosslinking. The as-prepared MMPNSs with a well-developed microporous network demonstrate unusual multifunctional properties, including remarkable colloidal stability in aqueous solution, good adsorption-release property for drug, and large adsorption capacity toward organic vapors. Surprisingly, MMPNSs can be directly transformed into high-surface-area monodisperse carbon nanospheres with good colloidal stability via a facile hydrothermal-assisted carbonization procedure. These findings provide a new benchmark for fabricating well-defined porous nanospheres with great promise for various applications.

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