Silencieux F.,Center Hospitalier University Of Quebecquebec |
Silencieux F.,University LavalQuebec |
Bouchoucha M.,Center Hospitalier University Of Quebecquebec |
Bouchoucha M.,University LavalQuebec |
And 8 more authors.
Langmuir | Year: 2015
Thin films made of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are finding new applications in catalysis, optics, as well as in biomedicine. The fabrication of MSNs thin films requires a precise control over the deposition and sintering of MSNs on flat substrates. In this study, MSNs of narrow size distribution (150 nm) are synthesized, and then assembled onto flat silicon substrates, by means of a dip-coating process. Using concentrated MSN colloidal solutions (19.5 mg mL-1 SiO2), withdrawal speed of 0.01 mm s-1, and well-controlled atmospheric conditions (ambient temperature, ∼ 70% of relative humidity), monolayers are assembled under well-structured compact patterns. The thin films are sintered up to 900 °C, and the evolution of the MSNs size distributions are compared to those of their pore volumes and densities. Particle size distributions of the sintered thin films were precisely fitted using a model specifically developed for asymmetric particle size distributions. With increasing temperature, there is first evidence of intraparticle reorganization/relaxation followed by intraparticle sintering followed by interparticle sintering. This study is the first to quantify the impact of sintering on MSNs assembled as thin films. © 2015 American Chemical Society.