Spatial isolation of carbon and silica in a single janus mesoporous nanoparticle with tunable amphiphilicity

Tiancong Zhao, Xiaohang Zhu, Chin Te Hung, Peiyuan Wang, Ahmed Elzatahry, Areej Abdulkareem Al-Khalaf, Wael N. Hozzein, Fan Zhang, Xiaomin Li, Dongyuan Zhao

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117 Citations (Scopus)


Like surfactants with tunable hydrocarbon chain length, Janus nanoparticles also possess the ability to stabilize emulsions. The volume ratio between the hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains in a single Janus nanoparticle is very important for the stabilization of emulsions, which is still a great challenge. Herein, dual-mesoporous Fe3O4@mC&mSiO2 Janus nanoparticles with spatial isolation of hydrophobic carbon and hydrophilic silica at the single-particle level have successfully been synthesized for the first time by using a novel surface-charge-mediated selective encapsulation approach. The obtained dual-mesoporous Fe3O4@mC&mSiO2 Janus nanoparticles are made up of a pure one-dimensional mesoporous SiO2 nanorod with tunable length (50-400 nm), 100 nm wide and 2.7 nm mesopores and a closely connected mesoporous Fe3O4@mC magnetic nanosphere (150 nm diameter, 10 nm mesopores). As a magnetic "solid amphiphilic surfactant", the hydrophilic/hydrophobic ratio can be precisely adjusted by varying the volume ratio between silica and carbon domains, endowing the Janus nanoparticles surfactant-like emulsion stabilization ability and recyclability under a magnetic field. Owing to the total spatial separation of carbon and silica, the Janus nanoparticles with an optimized hydrophilic/hydrophobic ratio show spectacular emulsion stabilizing ability, which is crucial for improving the biphasic catalysis efficiency. By selectively anchoring catalytic active sites into different domains, the fabricated Janus nanoparticles show outstanding performances in biphasic reduction of 4-nitroanisole with 100% conversion efficiency and 700 h-1 high turnover frequency for biphasic cascade synthesis of cinnamic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10009-10015
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

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