Journal of colloid and interface science

A facile synthesis of highly water-soluble, core-shell organo-silica nanoparticles with controllable size via sol-gel process.

PMID 19783256


A series of highly water-soluble organo-silica nanoparticles, ranging from 2 to 10nm in diameter, were synthesized by the cohydrolysis and copolycondensation reactions. omega-methoxy(polyethyleneoxy)propyltrimethoxysilane (PEG6-9) and hydroxymethyltriethoxysilane (HMTEOS) mixtures were catalyzed by sodium hydroxide in the presence of surfactant benzethonium chloride (BTC) with various ratios of PEG6-9/HMTEOS at room temperature. The synthesized organo-silica nanoparticles possess a core-shell structure with a core of organo-silica resulting from HMTEOS and a monolayer shell of PEG6-9. The chemo-physical characteristics of the particles were studied by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, (29)Si nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The molecular weight and particle size of the particles increased with increasing HMTEOS molar ratios. The richest HMTEOS composition for the water-soluble particles was found to be HMTEOS:PEG6-9=80:20, where the particles had a 6nm diameter core and a 0.8nm thick shell. We propose that these water-soluble organo-silica nanoparticles will be suitable for biomedical applications.