Continuous polymer coating of nanoparticles is of interest in many industries such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, and electronics. Here we introduce a polymer coating/precipitation technique to achieve a uniform and controllable nanosize polymer coating on nanoparticles in a continuous manner. The utility of this technique is demonstrated by coating Aerosil silica nanoparticles (SNPs) of diameter 12 nm with the polymer Eudragit RL 100. Both hydrophilic and hydrophobic SNPs were successfully coated. After determining the cloud point of an acetone solution of the polymer containing a controlled amount of the nonsolvent water, the solid hollow fiber cooling crystallization (SHFCC) technique was employed to continuously coat SNPs with the polymer. A suspension of the SNPs in an acetone-water solution of the polymer containing a surfactant was pumped through the lumen of solid polypropylene hollow fibers in a SHFCC device; cold liquid was circulated on the shell side. Because of rapid cooling-induced supersaturation and heterogeneous nucleation, precipitated polymers will coat the nanoparticles. The thickness and morphology of the nanocoating and the particle size distribution of the coated SNPs were analyzed by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Results indicate that uniformly polymer-coated SNPs can be obtained from the SHFCC device after suitable post-treatments. The technique is also easily scalable by increasing the number of hollow fibers in the SHFCC device.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces