Fast nucleation for silica nanoparticle synthesis using a sol–gel method

Dixit, Chandra K.
Bhakta, Snehasis
Kumar, Ajeet
Suib, Steven L.
Rusling, James F.
Dixit, Chandra K. Bhakta, Snehasis; Kumar, Ajeet; Suib, Steven L.; Rusling, James F. (2016). Fast nucleation for silica nanoparticle synthesis using a sol–gel method. Nanoscale 8 (47), 19662-19667
We have developed a method that for the first time allowed us to synthesize silica particles in 20 minutes using a sol-gel preparation. Therefore, it is critically important to understand the synthesis mechanism and kinetic behavior in order to achieve a higher degree of fine tuning ability during the synthesis. In this study, we have employed our ability to modulate the physical nature of the reaction medium from sol-gel to emulsion, which has allowed us to halt the reaction at a particular time; this has allowed us to precisely understand the mechanism and chemistry of the silica polymerization. The synthesis medium is kept quite simple with tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) as a precursor in an equi-volumetric ethanol-water system and with sodium hydroxide as a catalyst. Synthesis is performed under ambient conditions at 20 degrees C for 20 minutes followed by phasing out of any unreacted TEOS and polysilicic acid chains via their emulsification with supersaturated water. We have also demonstrated that the developed particles with various sizes can be used as seeds for further particle growth and other applications. Luminol, a chemiluminescent molecule, has been entrapped successfully between the layers of silica and was demonstrated for the chemiluminescence of these particles.
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland