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Surfactant-assisted formation of organophilic CeO2 nanoparticles
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We report a simple one-pot method to prepare organically functionalized CeO 2 nanoparticles by controlled chemical precipitation. The particles were nucleated by mixing aqueous solutions of Ce(NO 3) 3·6H 2O and ammonia at room temperature. Different small organic molecules were chosen as capping agents and injected into the reaction medium at the beginning of the synthesis: 3-(mercaptopropyl) trimethoxy silane (MPS), hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), 3-mercapto propionic acid (3-MPA), and thioglycolic acid (TGA). The resulting nanocrystals were quasi-spherical and had a narrow mean size distribution with an average size smaller than 10nm. Dynamic nuclear polarization enhanced NMR (DNP-NMR) and FTIR measurements suggested a chemical grafting of the surfactant and a homogeneous surface modification. The colloidal stabilities were characterized by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential measurements. The stabilization by aliphatic groups was tested with a frequently used hydrophobic monomer, methyl methacrylate. According to the results, CTAB is the most effective of the used stabilizing surfactant. The mechanism of formation of the organophilic CeO 2 nanoparticles is discussed.