Crystallization of hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles

Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles can be crystallized into polycrystalline α-quartz under relatively mild conditions. The infiltration of catalytic quantities of alkaline earth metals within the mesoporosity produces a confined devitrification. Therefore, resulting in the crystallization of nanoparticles without losing the initial 3D complex architecture. To date materials scientist have mastered control over amorphous silica morphologies, but this is the first report where these floating structures can be crystallized without deleterious effects on the morphology. The hollow quartz nanoparticles reported in this work could find applications in the field of optics, thanks to the hardness, low solubility; high refrective index and broad range transparency of this silica polymorph.



Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4CC07828D


ICMAB (Barcelone), ILL (Grenoble), Collége de France (Paris)

Colored FEGSEM image of crystalline silica nanoparticles calcined for 5h under air at 900 °C
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