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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2014 Dec;214:17-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cis.2014.10.007. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Sol-Gel processing of silica nanoparticles and their applications.

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CSIR-Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, 247667, India. Electronic address:
CSIR-Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, 247667, India.


Recently, silica nanoparticles (SNPs) have drawn widespread attention due to their applications in many emerging areas because of their tailorable morphology. During the last decade, remarkable efforts have been made on the investigations for novel processing methodologies to prepare SNPs, resulting in better control of the size, shape, porosity and significant improvements in the physio-chemical properties. A number of techniques available for preparing SNPs namely, flame spray pyrolysis, chemical vapour deposition, micro-emulsion, ball milling, sol-gel etc. have resulted, a number of publications. Among these, preparation by sol-gel has been the focus of research as the synthesis is straightforward, scalable and controllable. Therefore, this review focuses on the recent progress in the field of synthesis of SNPs exhibiting ordered mesoporous structure, their distribution pattern, morphological attributes and applications. The mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs) with good dispersion, varying morphology, narrow size distribution and homogeneous porous structure have been successfully prepared using organic and inorganic templates. The soft template assisted synthesis using surfactants for obtaining desirable shapes, pores, morphology and mechanisms proposed has been reviewed. Apart from single template, double and mixed surfactants, electrolytes, polymers etc. as templates have also been intensively discussed. The influence of reaction conditions such as temperature, pH, concentration of reagents, drying techniques, solvents, precursor, aging time etc. have also been deliberated. These MSNPs are suitable for a variety of applications viz., in the drug delivery systems, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), biosensors, cosmetics as well as construction materials. The applications of these SNPs have also been briefly summarized.


Drug delivery system; Nano-engineered concrete; Polymer; Silica nanoparticles; Sol-gel method


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