Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.326, No.1, 151-157, 2008
Encapsulation of silica nanoparticles by redox-initiated graft polymerization from the surface of silica nanoparticles
This study describes a facile and versatile method for preparing polymer-encapsulated silica particles by 'grafting from' polymerization initiated by a redox system comprising ceric ion (Ce4+) as an oxidant and an organic reductant immobilized on the surface of silica nanoparticles. The silica nanoparticles were firstly modified by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, then reacted with poly(ethylene glycol) acrylate through the Michael addition reaction, so that hydroxyl-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were covalently attached onto the nanoparticle Surface and worked as the reductant. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), a common hydrophobic polymer, and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm), a thermosensitive polymer, were successfully grafted onto the Surface of silica nanoparticles by 'grafting from' polymerization initiated by the redox reaction of Ce4+ with PEG oil the silica surface in acid aqueous Solutions. The polymer-encapsulated silica nanoparticles (referred to as silica@PMMA and silica@PNIPAAm, respectively) were characterized by infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. On the contrary, graft polymerization did not occur on bare silica nanoparticles. In addition, during polymerization, sediments were observed for PMMA and for PNIPAAm at a polymerization temperature above its low critical Solution temperature (LCST). But the silica@PNIPAAm particles obtained at a polymerization temperature below the LCST can Suspend stably in water throughout the polymerization process. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.