The Formation of Well-Defined Hollow Silica Spheres with Multilamellar Shell Structure


  • We are grateful to the organizers of the Summer School of Synchrotron Radiation Science held in Chester College and Daresbury Laboratory (UK) in August 2002 for allowing us to use beamtime allocated to the practical sessions in September 2002. We also acknowledge the financial support by the Netherlands Technology Foundation (STW; grant GFc4983), which is subsidized by the Netherlands Organization for the Advancement of Pure Research (NWO). The authors thank E. van Oers for technical assistance.


Hollow mesoporous silica spheres that are highly defined in shape and size (see Figure) are prepared using a poly(ethylene oxide)–poly(propylene oxide)–poly(ethylene oxide) [PEO–PPO–PEO] block copolymer based emulsion as the template, and sodium silicate as the silica source. The wall structure of the particles depends on the reaction temperature and can be monitored using small-angle X-ray scattering, solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and cryo-transmission electron microscopy.