Technical advances in the field of colloidal nanocomposite particles over the past two years are briefly reviewed. Particular emphasis is given to organic–inorganic nanocomposite particles in which the organic phase is a vinyl polymer and the inorganic phase is typically silica. Such nanocomposite particles have been examined in a wide range of applications, ranging from new synthetic mimics for understanding the behaviour of micro-meteorites, to stimulus-responsive Pickering emulsifiers to tough, transparent, scratch-resistant coatings for either timber or housing exteriors. Important breakthroughs, including both improved formulations and characterisation techniques, are discussed and likely future developments in this field are assessed.
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