Bulk Synthesis of Polymer-Inorganic Colloidal Clusters

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Entry by Pichet Adstamongkonkul, AP 225, Fall 2011

work in progress


Title: Bulk Synthesis of Polymer-Inorganic Colloidal Clusters

Authors: Adeline Perro and Vinothan N. Manoharan

Journal: Langmuir, 2010, Vol. 26, No. 24


Nonspherical colloidal particles can be used as model systems to understand phase behavior and as building blocks for three-dimensional photonic crystal structures if we can control their shape, size, composition, and yield, which in turn precisely define the morphologies and surface properties of those particles. An approach uses pre-formed spherical particles and make them aggregate in a controlled manner into clusters, which allows different morphologies to be produced. This paper is the generalization of a method previously developed, which makes polystyrene-silica colloidal clusters in bulk with high yield, to other materials that could have a wider applications. The general process can be divided into three steps: the grafting of coupling agents onto the surface of inorganic seed; the emulsion polymerization reaction on the inorganic nanoparticles; and silanization the clusters, which facilitates the functionalization, by introducing a silane derivative during the polymerization.