Journal of colloid and interface science

Controllable preparation and formation mechanism of monodispersed silica particles with binary sizes.

PMID 22964095


Monodispersed silica particles with bimodal size distribution were successfully prepared through adding an ethanol (EtOH) solution containing tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) dropwise into an ammonia EtOH solution at a constant low rate. The effects of the reaction parameters such as ammonia/ethanol ratio, feeding rate of TEOS solution, reaction temperature, and time on the size and size distribution of the as-obtained particles were investigated. Based on these phenomena, a modified LaMer model of nucleation and growth mechanism was proposed to reasonably explain the formation of the as-obtained silica particles with bimodal size distribution. The as-prepared monodispersed silica particles with bimodal size distribution can be directly fabricated into binary colloidal crystals with small particles surrounding large particles by evaporation-induced cooperative self-assembly. This suggests that the method reported here provides a straightforward and effective route to the in situ fabrication of novel binary colloidal crystals and their replicated patterns in one reaction system.