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Facile Large-Scale Synthesis of Monodisperse Mesoporous Silica Nanospheres with Tunable Pore Structure

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2013, 00:00 by Kun Zhang, Lang-Lang Xu, Jin-Gang Jiang, Nathalie Calin, Koon-Fung Lam, San-Jun Zhang, Hai-Hong Wu, Guang-Dong Wu, Bélen Albela, Laurent Bonneviot, Peng Wu
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are experiencing rapid development in the biomedical field for imaging and for use in heterogeneous catalysis. Although the synthesis of MSNs with various morphologies and particle sizes has been reported, synthesis of a pore network with monodispersion control below 200 nm is still challenging. We achieved this goal using mild conditions. The reaction occurred at atmospheric pressure with a templating sol–gel technique using cetyltrimethylammonium (CTA+) as the templating surfactant and small organic amines (SOAs) as the mineralizing agent. Production of small pore sizes was performed for the first time, using pure and redispersible monodispersed porous nanophases with either stellate (ST) or raspberry-like (RB) channel morphologies. Tosylate (Tos) counterions favored ST and bromide (Br) RB morphologies at ultralow SOA concentrations. Both anions yielded a worm-like (WO) morphology at high SOA concentrations. A three-step formation mechanism based on self-assembly and ion competition at the electrical palisade of micelles is proposed. Facile recovery and redispersion using specific SOAs allowed a high yield production at the kilogram scale. This novel technique has practical applications in industry.

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