Gas Phase Modification of Silica Nanoparticles in a Fluidized Bed: Tailored Deposition of Aminopropylsiloxane

Amirhossein Mahtabani, Damiano La Zara, Rafał Anyszka, Xiaozhen He, Mika Paajanen, J. Ruud Van Ommen, Wilma Dierkes (Corresponding Author), Anke Blume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Functionalized nanoparticles have various applications, for which grafting of a chemical moiety onto the surface to induce/improve certain properties is needed. When incorporated in polymeric matrices, for instance, the modified nanoparticles can alter the interfacial characteristics leading to improvements ofthe macroscopic properties of the nanocomposites. The extent of these improvements is highly dependent on the thickness, morphology and conformity of the grafted layer. However, the common liquid-phase modification methods provide limited control over these factors. A novel gas-phase modification process was utilized, with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) as precursor, to chemically deposit amino-terminated organic layers on fumed silica nanoparticles in a fluidized bed. A self-limiting surface saturation was achieved when the reaction was done at 200 °C. With this self-limiting feature, we were able to graft multiple layers of aminopropylsiloxane (APS) onto the silica nanoparticles using water as the coreactant. The feasibility of this process was analyzed using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), diffuse reflectance IR Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and elemental analysis (EA). By altering the number of APTES/water cycles, it was possible to control the thickness and conformity of the deposited aminopropylsiloxane layer. This novel approach allows to engineer the surface of nanoparticles, by introducing versatile functionalized layers in a controlled manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4481–4492
Number of pages12
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Saturation
  • Layers
  • Nanoparticles
  • Silica
  • Deposition


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