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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2005 Jul;72(1 Pt 1):011404. Epub 2005 Jul 11.

Growth of monodisperse mesoscopic metal-oxide colloids under constant monomer supply.

Author information

1
Centre de Physique Moléculaire Optique et Hertzienne, UMR CNRS 5798, Université Bordeaux I, Talence, France.

Abstract

In closed systems, control over the size of monodisperse metal-oxide colloids is generally limited to submicrometric dimensions. To overcome this difficulty, we explore the formation and growth of silica particles under constant monomer supply. The monomer source is externally driven by the progressive addition into the system of one of the precursors. Monodisperse spherical particles are produced up to a mesoscopic size. We analyze their growth versus the monomer addition rate at different temperatures. Our results show that in the presence of a continuous monomer addition, growth is limited by diffusion over the investigated temporal window. Using the temperature variation of the growth rate, we prove that rescaling leads to a data reduction onto a single master curve. Contrary to the growth process, the final particle's size reached after the end of the reagent supply strongly depends on the addition rate. The variation of the final particle size versus addition rate can be deduced from an analogy with crystal formation in jet precipitation. Within this framework, and using the temperature dependences of both the particle growth law and the final size, we determine the value of the molecular heat of dissolution associated to the silica solubility. These observations support the fact that classical theories of phase-ordering dynamics can be extended to the synthesis of inorganic particles. The emergence of a master behavior in the presence of continuous monomer addition also suggests the extension of these theories to open systems.

PMID:
16089958
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevE.72.011404

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