Controlling particle size in the Stöber process and incorporation of calcium

Sarah L. Greasley, Samuel J. Page, Slobodan Sirovica, Shu Chen, Richard A. Martin, Antonio Riveiro, John V. Hanna, Alexandra E. Porter, Julian R. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Stӧber process is commonly used for synthesising spherical silica particles. This article reports the first comprehensive study of how the process variables can be used to obtain monodispersed particles of specific size. The modal particle size could be selected within in the range 20 – 500 nm. There is great therapeutic potential for bioactive glass nanoparticles, as they can be internalised within cells and perform sustained delivery of active ions. Biodegradable bioactive glass nanoparticles are also used in nanocomposites. Modification of the Stӧber process so that the particles can contain cations such as calcium, while maintaining monodispersity, is desirable. Here, while calcium incorporation is achieved, with a homogenous distribution, careful characterisation shows that much of the calcium is not incorporated. A maximum of 10 mol% CaO can be achieved and previous reports are likely to have overestimated the amount of calcium incorporated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date3 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Funding: EPSRC (EP/I020861/1 and EP/M004414/1); Imperial College London; University of Warwick; Birmingham Science City: Innovative Uses for Advanced Materials in the Modern World (West Midlands Centre for Advanced Materials Projects 1 and 2), with support from Advantage West Midlands (AWM); and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);STFC for funding a Global Challenge studentship.


  • Stӧber process
  • bioactive glass
  • nanoparticles
  • biodegradable
  • Sol-gel


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