Synthesis and characterization of amorphous silica nanoparitcles from aqueous silicates uisng cationic surfactants


  • Maurice. Abou Abou Rida Laboratory of Molecular Chemistry, Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences II
  • Faouzi. Harb Laboratory of Solid State Reactivity, Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences II


Silica, Sodium silicate, Cationic surfactant, Cost-effective, sol-gel, Microwave drying


In this work amorphous silica was synthesized using sodium silicate and hydrochloric acid by precipitation according to St?ber method. A system of chemical reactions has been developed which permits the controlled growth of silica particles using two different cationic surfactants as the dispersing agents. These surfactants were cetyltrimethylammonium bromide [CTAB] and dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide [DTAB]. The synthesized silicas were characterized by using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Infrared Spectroscopy (IR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDX) and Dynamic light scattering (DLS). Addition of a dispersing agent in the reaction reduced the particle size of the silica produced. The average size of silica nanoparticles can be finely tuned in the range 148–212 nm by changing the chain length of cationic surfactant.  XRD results showed that the synthesized silica was predominantly amorphous.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Maurice. Abou Abou Rida, Laboratory of Molecular Chemistry, Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences II

Chemistry Department

Faouzi. Harb, Laboratory of Solid State Reactivity, Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences II

Chemistry Department


Jesionowski, T. (2008). Synthesis and Characterization of Spherical Silica Precipitated via Emulsion Route. J. Mater. Process. Technol. 203(1-3) : 121- 128.

Pajonk G. M., (1991). Aerogel catalysts. Appl. Catal. 72 : 217-266.

Naik, S. P., Sokolov, I., (2007). Room temperature synthesis of nanoporous silica spheres and their formation mechanism). Solid State Commun. 144(10-11) : 437-440.

Yang, M., Wang, G., Yang , Z. (2008). Synthesis of hollow spheres with mesoporous silica nanoparticles shell. Mater. Chem. Phys. 111(1) : 5-8.

Rao, A.V., Hegde, N.D., Hirashima, H. (2007). Absorption and desorption of organic liquids in elastic superhydrophobic silica aerogels. J. Colloid. Interface. Sci. 305(1) : 124-132.

Tang, Q., Xu, Y., Wu, D., Sun, Y. (2006). A study of carboxylic-modified mesoporous silica in controlled delivery for drug famotidine. J. Solid. State. Chem. 179(5) : 1513-1520.

Bernardos, A., Kouřimská, L. (2013). Applications of mesoporous silica materials in food : a review. Czech J. Food Sci. 31(2) : 99-107.

Sarawade, P.B., Kim, J.K, Hilonga, A., Kim, H.T. (2010). Preparation of hydrophobic mesoporous silica powder with a high specific surface area by surface modification of a wet-gel slurry and spray-drying. J. Power Tech. 197(3) : 288-294.

Singh, L. P., Bhattacharyya, S. K., Mishra, G., Ahalawat, S. (2011). Functional role of cationic surfactant to control the nano size of silica powder. Appl. Nanosci. 1(3) : 117-122.

Essien, E. R., Olaniyi, O. A., Adams, L. A., Shaibu, R.O. (2011). Highly Porous Silica Network Prepared from Sodium Metasilicate. J. Met. Mater. Miner. 21(2) : 7-12.

Adam, F., Chew T.S., Andas, J., (2011). A simple template-free sol-gel synthesis of spherical nanosilica from agricultural biomass. J. Sol-Gel Sci. Tech. 59 : 580-583.

Adams, L. A., Shaibu, R. O., Essien, R. E., Oki, A. (2011). Bentonite Clay and Waterglass Porous Monoliths via the Sol-Gel Process. J. Met. Mater. Miner. 21(2) : 1-6.

Rafiee, E., Shahebrahimi, S., Feyzi, M., Shaterzadeh, M. (2012). Optimization of synthesis and characterization of nanosilica produced from rice husk (a common waste material). Nano Lett. 2 : 29-37.

Sarawade, P. B., Kim, J. K., Hilonga, A., Quang, D. V., Kim, H. T. (2011). Effect of drying technique on the physicochemical properties of sodium silicate-based mesoporous precipitated silica. Appl. Surf. Sci. 258 : 955-961.

Bhagat, S. D., Kim, Y. H., Suh, K. H., Ahn, Y. S., Yeo, J.G., Han, J.H. (2008). Superhydrophobic silica areogel powders with simultaneous surface modification, solvent exchange and sodium ion removal from hydrogels. Micropor. Mesopor. Mater. 112 : 504-509.

Bhagat, S.D., Park, K.T., Kim, Y.H., Kim, J.S., Han, J.H. (2008). A continuous production process for silica aerogel powders based on sodium silicate by fluidized bed drying of wet-gel slurry. Solid State Sci. 10(9) : 1113-1116.

Yang, H.S., Choi, S.Y., Hyun, S.H., Park, H.H., Hong, J.K. (1997). Ambient-dried low dielectric SiO2 aerogel thin film. J. NonCryst. Solids. 221(2-3) : 151-156.

Bhavornthanayod, C., Rungrojchaiporn, P. (2009). Synthesis of zeolite a membrane from rice husk ash. J. Met. Mater. Miner. 19 : 79-83.

Adam, F., Cheah, L.F. (2008). Chromium modified silica from rice husk as an oxidative catalyst. J. Porous Mater. 16 : 291-298.

Amutha K, Ravibaskar R. Sivakumar G. (2010). Extraction, synthesis and characterization of nanosilica from rice husk ash. Int. J. Nanotech Appl. 4 : 61-66.

Liou, T.H., Yang, C.C. (2011). Synthesis and surface characteristics of nanosilica produced from alkali-extracted rice husk ash. Mater. Sci. Eng. B. 176(7) : 521-529.

Witoon, T., Chareonpanich, M., Limtrakul, J. (2008). Synthesis of bimodal porous silica from rice husk ash via sol-gel process using chitosan as template. Mater. Lett. 62 : 1476-1479.




How to Cite

M. A. Abou Rida and F. . Harb, “Synthesis and characterization of amorphous silica nanoparitcles from aqueous silicates uisng cationic surfactants”, J Met Mater Miner, vol. 24, no. 1, Jun. 2014.



Original Research Articles