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Encapsulation of emulsion droplets by organo–silica shells

By C. Zoldesi, Patrick Steegstra and Arnout Imhof


Surfactant-stabilized emulsion droplets were used as templates for the synthesis of hollow colloidal particles. Monodisperse silicone oil droplets were prepared by hydrolysis and polymerization of dimethyldiethoxysiloxane monomer, in the presence of surfactant: sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS, anionic) or Triton X-100 (non-ionic). A sharp decrease in the average droplet radius with increasing surfactant concentration was found, with a linear dependence of the droplet radius on the logarithm of the surfactant concentration. The surfactant-stabilized oil droplets were then encapsulated with a solid shell using tetraethoxysilane, and hollow particles were obtained by exchange of the liquid core. The size and polydispersity of the oil droplets and the thickness of the shell were determined using static light scattering, and hollow particles were characterized by electron microscopy. Details on the composition of the shell material were obtained from energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. In the case of sodium dodecyl sulphate, the resulting shells were relatively thin and rough, while when Triton X-100 was used, smooth shells were obtained which could be varied in thickness from very thick (≈150 nm) to very thin shells (≈17 nm). Finally, hexane droplets were encapsulated using the same procedure, showing that our method can in principle be extended to a wide range of emulsions

Topics: Hollow particles, Colloids, Emulsion templating, Surfactants, Encapsulation, Microspheres, Organo–silica
Year: 2007
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