Anisotropic surface modification of TiO2 nanoparticles was achieved applying a Pickering emulsion approach. TiO2 nanoparticles were prepared by sol–gel routes which allowed an excellent control over their size and morphology. The obtained colloids were further
used as stabilizers in the formation of oil-in-water Pickering emulsion. For reasons of comparison, also commercially available titanium dioxide nanoparticles (Evonik AEROXIDE® TiO2 P25) were used in the functionalization experiments. An organophosphorus coupling
agent present in the oil phase coordinated to the surface of the anatase nanoparticles. In such a way an anisotropic surface modification of the particles was achieved which increased the stability of the Pickering emulsion. Spectroscopic studies revealed the presence of organophosphorus coupling
agents which exhibited a covalent bonding to the surface of the particles. Thermogravimetric analyses confirmed a lower surface coverage of the particles modified in emulsion compared to those modified in suspension. Reactions of organophosphorus coupling agents containing an additional methacrylate
group applying an organic monomer (methyl methacrylate) as the oil phase of the Pickering emulsion resulted in hybrid TiO2 @ polymer spheres. Spectroscopic characterization of the resulting particles revealed that the phosphonates were coordinated to the TiO2 surface
and at the same time copolymerized with the MMA within the oil droplet. Morphological investigations of the isolated final product showed that the material was composed of polymer spheres with the stabilizing TiO2 nanoparticles on their surface.
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