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A General Method to Coat Colloidal Particles with Titania

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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
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. A.F.D.: e-mail, [email protected]; telephone, +31 30 253 2315; fax, +31 30 253 2706. A.I.: e-mail, [email protected]; telephone, +31 30 253 2423; fax, +31 30 253 2706.
Cite this: Langmuir 2010, 26, 12, 9297–9303
Publication Date (Web):March 25, 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Chemical Society

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    We describe a general one-pot method for coating colloidal particles with amorphous titania. Various colloidal particles such as silica particles, large silver colloids, gibbsite platelets, and polystyrene spheres were successfully coated with a titania shell. Although there are several ways of coating different particles with titania in the literature, each of these methods is applicable to only one type of material. The present method is especially useful for giving the opportunity to cover many types of colloidal particles with titania and forgoes the use of a coupling agent or a precoating step. We can produce particles with a smooth titania layer of tunable thickness. The monodispersity, which improves during particle growth, and the high refractive index of titania make these particles potential candidates for photonic crystal applications. We also describe various ways of fabricating hollow titania shells, which have been intensively studied in the literature for their applications in electronics, catalysis, separations, and diagnostics. Note that our method initially produces amorphous shells on the particles, but these can be easily turned into crystalline titania by a calcination step. We also find that the growth of titania is a surface-reaction-limited process.

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    SLS of the crystalline titania shells and TEM image of PS@Titania particles without dissolution of the core in THF (PDF). This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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