Preprint 86 published
Preprint 86, "A kinetic model for the synthesis of silica nanoparticles from tetraethoxysilane", has been published on the CoMo Group website.
This work proposes a new kinetic model for the decomposition of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) leading to the formation of silica nanoparticles. Reactions were generated using species that were reported to be present in high concentration at equilibrium. Flux and sensitivity analyses were performed in order to identify the main reaction pathways. The parameters for these reactions were systematically fitted to experimental data using the statistical techniques of low discrepancy sequences and response surfaces. Error propagation calculations were performed to determine uncertainties in the model response, and to ensure these were within the limits of experimental errors. The main product of the decomposition of TEOS is deduced to be silicic acid (Si(OH)4). Finally, a novel route for particle inception and surface growth has been proposed through which the gas phase silicic acid monomers subsequently form mesoporous silica nanoparticles.