Colloidal crystals composed of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are expected to have various applications because of their unique hierarchical structures and tunable functions. The expansion of the mesopore size is important for introducing guest species which cannot be accommodated by using conventional colloidal crystals of MSNs; however, the preparation of MSNs with a controllable pore size, suitable for the fabrication of colloidal crystals, still remains a challenge. In this study, we fabricated colloidal crystals composed of pore-expanded MSNs using a sophisticated particle growth method to control the pore size of colloidal MSNs while retaining their monodispersity high enough to form colloidal crystals. By adding triisopropylbenzene (TIPB) only during the growth process with the stepwise addition of tetrapropoxysilane (TPOS), the particle size can be tuned from 60 nm to 100 nm, while the pore size can be tuned from 3 nm to ten plus several nm which is the largest size among the previous MSNs capable of forming colloidal crystals. These novel colloidal crystals should contribute to the expansion of nanomaterials science.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)