Continuous-Microflow Synthesis and Morphological Characterization of Multiscale Composite Materials Based on Polymer Microparticles and Inorganic Nanoparticles
This paper presents a new route to the synthesis of uniform and size-controlled inorganic/organic composite microparticles by means of microreaction technology. Au-nanoparticles in the range of 3 to 14 nm are synthesized by reduction of tetrachloroauric acid, while ZnO-nanoparticles (200–2000 nm) are synthesized in a continuous-flow twostep process using microtube arrangements for microsegmented flow. Both inorganic nanoparticles have a wellcontrolled size and narrow size distribution. Upon surface modification, the nanoparticles are then mixed on one hand with an acrylate-based monomer and, on the other hand, with an aqueous solution of acrylamide. Both solutions were then emulsified into uniform core-shell droplets by means of a capillary-based microfluidic device. Droplet’s shell was hardened through UV-induced polymerization, whereas the core led to a hydrogel upon thermal-induced polymerization. Core-shell polymer microparticles (200–300 μm) with inorganic nanoparticles selectively incorporated into the core and the shell are thus obtained as proven by extensive morphological characterizations using electronic and optical microscopies.
Keywordsinorganic nanoparticle polymer microparticle composite microreaction technology microfluidics microscopy
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