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Monday, 28 September 2020

Smart colloidal particles and inorganic-organic hybrids

Thursday, 27 January 2011 | Posted by: Prof. Rigoberto Advincula, Case Western Reserve University

Latex paints contain several types of particles including polymer binder, primary pigment, extenders, and colorants. Non-traditional and nanoparticle components are of high interest. Organic–inorganic hybrids with well-defined morphology and nanostructure represent a very interesting class of materials both for their use as biomimetic composites and because of their potential use in a wide range of technologically advanced as well as more conventional application fields - coatings.

Their unique properties arise from a synergistic combination with respect to the two components of the hybrid which can be achieved by nanostructuring , surface modification, self-assembling or simply by heterophase dispersion. A wide range of starting materials and of production processes have been studied in recent years for the controlled synthesis and characterization of these hybrids and nanoparticles including core-shell particles, blend particles, polymer brush coated particles, hollow-shell particles, etc. This can be based on polymer, silica, clays, titania, nanotubes, graphene, etc. Particular attention can be given to aqueous systems and water-borne dispersions which, in addition to being environmentally friendly or even a mandatory choice for any future development of large output applications (e.g. in paint, ink and coating industry), can provide the thermodynamic and kinetic driving force for adsorption onto colloidal particles, self-assembling of amphiphilics, partitioning of the hybrid’s precursors between dispersed nuclei, as in emulsion or mini emulsion free-radical polymerization, and other surface and interfacial interactions.  Accurate control over pH, temperature, and other process conditions is required to avoid latex coagulation or, in the case of organic particles with uniform composition, incipient intra-particle crosslinking. Many interesting properties can be tailored by control of these conditions.

Prof. Rigoberto C. Advincula can be contacted by e-mail at or at

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