Synthesis and characterization of bionanoparticle—Silica composites and mesoporous silica with large pores
A sol-gel process has been developed to incorporate bionanoparticles, such as turnip yellow mosaic virus, cowpea mosaic virus, tobacco mosaic virus, and ferritin into silica, while maintaining the integrity and morphology of the particles. The structures of the resulting materials were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, and N2 adsorption-desorption analysis. The results show that the shape and surface morphology of the bionanoparticles are largely preserved after being embedded into silica. After removal of the bionanoparticles by calcination, mesoporous silica with monodisperse pores, having the shape and surface morphology of the bionanoparticles replicated inside the silica, was produced,. This study is expected to lead to both functional composite materials and mesoporous silica with structurally well-defined large pores.