Robust hybrid raspberry-like hollow particles with complex structures: a facile method of swelling polymerization towards composite spheres†
A novel robust hybrid raspberry-like TiO2/PS hollow particles with complex double-shelled structures have been fabricated in large quantities by a facile swelling polymerization approach based on commercially available hollow polystyrene (PS) spheres. The crosslinked-PS protrusions are wedged firmly into the TiO2 shell, making the resultant particles both chemically and mechanically robust. By simply tuning the monomer concentration, the hierarchical morphology (the size and number of protrusion) of the surfaces can be well-controlled. Due to the dual-sized hierarchical morphology, the particulate coating possesses superhydrophobicity (water contact angle ≈ 161°). Moreover, the well-compartmentalized character is similar to that of typical Janus particles. The special particles with interfacial activity can stabilize water-in-toluene (w/o) emulsions well. Meanwhile, a TiO2 double-shelled hollow sphere with a complex structure is achieved by calcination or solvent treatment. All these unique features derived from a readily available method will endow the products with a broader range of applications.