Rapid self-assembly of core-shell organosilicon microcapsules within a microfluidic device

Jeremy L. Steinbacher, Rebecca W.Y. Moy, Kristin E. Price, Meredith A. Cummings, Chandrani Roychowdhury, Jarrod J. Buffy, William L. Olbricht, Michael Haaf, D. Tyler McQuade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The preparation of hierarchically structured organosilicon microcapsules from commercially available starting materials is described. Using a microfluidic device, an emulsion of dichlorodiphenylsilane is formed in a continuous phase of aqueous glycerol. The silane droplets undergo hydrolysis, condensation, and crystallization within minutes to form self-assembled, core-shell microcapsules. The microparticles have been characterized with light and electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy (DOSY), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and powder X-ray diffraction (XRD). The characterization data show that the microcapsule walls consist of amorphous, oligomeric poly(diphenylsiloxane) surrounded by a spiny layer of crystalline diphenylsilanediol. Glycerol is occluded within the wall material but is not covalently bound to the silicon components. Glycerol is a crucial element for producing low-dispersity microcapsules with well-ordered surface spines, as the use of methyl cellulose as viscomodifier yields amorphous surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9442-9447
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 26 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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