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Idealized solubility diagram for film forming species in water. Adapted from B. C. Bunker, P. C. Rieke, B. J. Tarasevich, A. A. Campbell, G. E. Fryxall, G. L. Graff, L. Song, J. Liu, J. W. Virden, and G. L. McVay, Science , 1994, 264 , 48.

Silica can be dissolved in fluorosilicic acid to well above its solubility in water, which is approximately 220 ppm (mg/L). Depending on the concentration of the fluorosilicic acid solution, it can contain up to 20% more silica than is implied by the formula H 2 SiF 6 . After saturation of the solution with SiO 2 , the solvated species is a mixture of fluorosilicates, which reacts as explained earlier. It must be emphasized that addition of water in this reaction is not simply dilution, but is the addition of a reactant, which places the solution in a metastable state (the blue area in [link] ) in preparation for the introduction of a suitable surface to seed the growth of silica.

Another important factor in solution growth methods is interfacial energy. When a substrate with lower interfacial energy than that of a growing homogeneous nucleus is introduced into a growth solution, heterogeneous growth is favored. Thus, a seeded growth mechanism by definition introduces a substrate of lower interfacial energy into a supersaturated solution, facilitating heterogeneous growth. Lower interfacial energies can be a product of surface modification, as well as a property of the materials’ natural state.

Comparing lpd to sol-gel

An alternative method to LPD for forming silica thin films is the sol-gel method. A sol is a colloidal dispersion of particles in a liquid. A gel is a material that contains a continuous solid matrix enclosing a continuous liquid phase. The liquid inhibits the solid from collapsing and the solid impedes release of the liquid. A formal definition of sol-gel processing is the “growth of colloidal particles and their linking together to form a gel.” This method describes both the hydrolysis and condensation of silicon alkoxides and the hydrolysis and condensation of aqueous silicates (the DS process).

In the hydrolysis of silicon alkoxides, an alkoxide group is replaced with a hydroxyl group, [link] . Further condensation reactions between alkoxyl groups or hydroxyl groups produce siloxane bonds, see [link] and [link] .

Tetramethoxysilane [Si(OMe) 4 , TMOS] and tetraethylorthoxysilane [Si(OEt) 4 , TEOS] are the most commonly used precursors in silica sol-gel processing. The alkoxides are hydrolyzed in their parent alcohols, with a mineral acid or base catalyst, producing silicate gels that can be deposited as coatings. The Stober method, which utilizes this chemistry, relies on homogeneous nucleation to produce monodisperse sols.

Iler’s DS method of silica film formation was originally patented as a pigment coating to increase dispersibility of titania particles for use in the paint industry. The DS method is based on the aqueous chemistry of silica and takes advantage of the species present in solution at varying pH. Below pH 7 three-dimensional gel networks are formed. Above pH 7 silica surfaces are quite negatively charged ( [link] ), so that particle growth occurs without aggregation. The isoelectric point of silica is pH 2. Reactions above and below pH 2 are thought to occur through bimolecular nucleophilic condensation mechanisms. Above pH 2 an anionic species attacks a neutral species ( [link] ) and below pH 2 condensation involves a protonated silanol ( [link] ). The DS process has been utilized extensively in sol-gel coating technology and as a growth method for monodisperse and polydisperse sols.


  • B. C. Bunker, P. C. Rieke, B. J. Tarasevich, A. A. Campbell, G. E. Fryxall, G. L. Graff, L. Song, J. Liu, J. W. Virden, and G. L. McVay, Science , 1994, 264 , 48.
  • P.-H. Chang, C.-T. Huang, and J.-S. Shie, J. Electrochem. Soc. , 1997, 144 , 1144.
  • J.-S. Chou and S.-C. Lee, J. Electrochem. Soc. , 1994, 141 , 3214.
  • T. Homma, T. Katoh, Y. Yamada, and Y. Murao, J. Electrochem. Soc. , 1993, 140 , 2410.
  • R. K. Iler, The Chemistry of Silica Solubility, Polymerization, Colloid and Surface Properties, and Biochemistry , John Wiley&Sons (1979).
  • H. R. Jafry, E. A. Whitsitt, and A. R. Barron, J. Mater. Sci ., 2007, 42 , 7381.
  • T. Niesen and M. R. De Guire, J. Electroceramics , 2001, 6 , 169.
  • N. Ozawa, Y. Kumazawa, and T. Yao, Thin Solid Films , 2002, 418 , 102.
  • W. Stober, A. Fink, and E. Bohn, J. Colloid Interface Sci. , 1968, 26 , 62.
  • D. Whitehouse, Glass of the Roman Empire , Corning (1988).
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Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of electronic materials. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10719/1.9
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