Micrometer-Sized Gold–Silica Janus Particles as Particulate Emulsifiers

Micrometer-sized gold–silica Janus particles act as an effective stabilizer of emulsions by adsorption at the oil–water interface. The Janus particles were adsorbed at the oil–water interface as a monolayer and stabilized near-spherical and nonspherical oil droplets that remained stable without coalescence for longer than one year. Gold and silica surfaces have hydrophobic and hydrophilic features; these surfaces were exposed to oil and water phases, respectively. In contrast, bare silica particles cannot stabilize stable emulsion, and completed demulsification occurred within 2 h. Greater stability of the emulsion for the Janus particle system compared to the silica particle system was achieved by using the adsorption energy of the Janus particles at the oil–water interface; the adsorption energy of the Janus particles is more than 3 orders of magnitude greater than that of silica particles. Suspension polymerization of Janus particle-stabilized vinyl monomer droplets in the absence of any molecular-level emulsifier in aqueous media led to nonspherical microspheres with Janus particles on their surface. Furthermore, polymer microspheres carrying Au femtoliter cups on their surfaces were successfully fabricated by removal of the silica component from the Janus-particle stabilized microspheres.