Lena Lore Hecht, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and colleagues focus on the technological challenges in producing nano-sized, hybrid particles, especially with regard to continuous processing. They developed an integrated process to produce hybrid particles with a ZnO core and a polystyrene shell with a mean size of 200 nm.
A monomer miniemulsion and a suspension of hydrophobic ZnO nanoparticles in water are prepared separately. Then, both systems are mixed by stirring and ultrasonication. During these process steps droplet disruption and coalescence take place repeatedly. Because of their hydrophobic surface, the nanoparticles are transferred into the droplets. The ZnO nanoparticle loaded monomer droplets are afterwards polymerized to hybrid nanoparticles.
The process was found to be more energy efficient, time saving and more realizable in a continuous process than the standard process. In further work, parameters influencing the size and nanostructure of the composite nanoparticles will be investigated.
- Miniemulsions for the Production of Nanostructured Particles,
L. L. Hecht, M. Winkelmann, C. Wagner, K. Landfester, W. Gerlinger, B. Sachweh, H. P. Schuchmann,
Chem. Eng. Technol. 2012, 39 (9), 1670–1676.