Controllable synthesis of silica hollow spheres by vesicle templating of silicone surfactants
Silica hollow spheres (SHSs) have been designed and prepared through three distinct synthetic routes based on the self-assembling of comb-like copolymer silicone surfactants. This process was based on the rule of similarities for hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity between the surfactant and a silica source. The directed silica wall formations were performed at different confined spaces of the vesicles, including the outer and inner surfaces, and the hydrophobic parts of the bi-layers. The resultant SHSs possess tailorable shell thicknesses (20–400 nm), particle sizes (200 nm–1.2 μm), and a high dispersibility in aqueous solutions.