C. Hubert, C. Chomette, A. Désert, M. Sun, M. Treguer, S. Mornet, A. Perro, E. Duguet, S. Ravaine

Faraday Discuss., 2015, 181, 139-146

Silica particles with a controlled number of entropic patches, i.e. dimples, are synthesized through the growth of the silica core of binary multipods that have been produced by a seeded-growth emulsion polymerization reaction. Transmission electron microscopy studies indicate that the silica surface conforms to the shape of the polystyrene (PS) nodules of the multipods while growing, allowing a good control of the final shape of the dimpled silica particles. The PS nodules are also used as protecting masks to regioselectively graft amino groups, as revealed by the adsorption of gold markers. After dissolution of the PS nodules, some polymer chains remain grafted onto the silica surface, forming organic bumps. These residues are also selectively functionalized, leading to silica particles with both entropic and enthalpic patches.