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Synthesis of Eccentric Titania−Silica Core−Shell and Composite Particles

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Soft Condensed Matter, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
* Corresponding authors. E-mail [email protected], tel. +31 30 253 2315, fax +31 30 253 2706 (A.F.D.); E-mail [email protected], tel +31 30 253 2423 (A.I.).
Cite this: Chem. Mater. 2009, 21, 6, 979–984
Publication Date (Web):February 25, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

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    We describe a novel method to synthesize colloidal particles with an eccentric core−shell structure. Titania−silica core−shell particles were synthesized by silica coating of porous titania particles under Stöber (Stöber et al. J. Colloid Interface Sci.1968, 26, 62) conditions. We can control access of silica to the pores in the titania, allowing us to produce either core−shell or composite particles. Calcination of the core−shell particles gives unique eccentric core−shell structures, as a result of extensive shrinkage of the highly porous titania core with respect to the silica shell. However, when the titania particles are silica treated prior to drying they result in composite titania−silica spheres, where two materials are mixed uniformly. These spheres are interesting for catalysis, (switchable) photonic crystal applications, optical tweezing, and new titiana based materials. We demonstrate photocatalytic activity of the eccentric spheres where the silica layer acts as a size selective membrane.

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