Versatile synthesis of thiol- and amine-bifunctionalized silica nanoparticles based on the ouzo effect

Shih Jiuan Chiu, Su Yuan Wang, Hung Chang Chou, Ying Ling Liu, Teh Min Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we report a novel, nanoprecipitation-based method for preparing silica nanoparticles with thiol and amine cofunctionalization. (3-Mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane (MPTMS) and 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTMS) were used as the organosilane precursors, which were subjected to acid-catalyzed polycondensation in an organic phase containing a water-miscible solvent (e.g., dimethyl sulfoxide). A pale colloidal solution could be immediately formed when the preincubated organic phase was directly injected into water. The initial composition ratio between MPTMS and APTMS is an important factor governing the formation of nanoparticles. Specifically, large, unstable micrometer-sized particles were formed for preparation using MPTMS as the sole silane source. In contrast, when APTMS was used alone, no particles could be formed. By reducing the fraction of APTMS (or increasing that of MPTMS) in the initial mixture of organosilanes, the formation of nanometer-sized particles occurred at a critical fraction of APTMS (i.e., 25%). Remarkably, a tiny fraction (e.g., 1%) of APTMS was sufficient to produce stable nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic diameter of about 200 nm. Other factors that would also affect particle formation were determined. Moreover, an interesting temperature effect on particle formation was observed. The TEM micrographs show spherical nanospheres with mean sizes of 130-150 nm in diameter. The solid-state 29Si NMR spectra demonstrate that the hybrid silica materials contain fully and partially condensed silicon structures. The bifunctionalized silica nanoparticles have positive zeta potentials whose magnitudes are positively correlated with the amount of APTMS. The total thiol content, however, is negatively correlated with the amount of APTMS. The cationic nanoparticles can bind an antisense oligonucleotide in a composition-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7676-7686
Number of pages11
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Jul 8 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Spectroscopy
  • Medicine(all)


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