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Colloids Interfaces


Colloidal particle self-assembly into higher-ordered structures has been of great interest due to the promise of creating metamaterials with novel macroscopic properties. The physicochemical properties of these metamaterials can be tailored to achieve composites with tunable functionalities, either by controlling the assembly morphology and/or chemistry of the colloidal building blocks. This work describes a strategy of developing microparticles with a hybrid configuration that have an inorganic and an organic part. The inorganic part comprises functional nanoparticles, which are embedded within an organic polymer particle composed of diethyl methylene malonate polymer [p(DEMM)] prepared using anionic emulsion polymerization. DEMM polymerization is initiated entirely by the presence of hydroxyl anions and the resulting particle diameter can be tuned between 300 nm and 1 micrometer by reaction pH. Inorganic nanoparticles with varying chemistry (TiO2, CdTe, ZnO) can be loaded into the p(DEMM) particle with a controlled weight fraction, as confirmed by thermogravimetric analysis. The colloidal stability of the composite microparticles is seen to be dependent on the ligand coating attached to the inorganic constituent. These results provide a synthetic groundwork for creating hybrid, stimuli-responsive microparticles.





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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.