Reverse microemulsionsmicelles method

The reverse micelle approach is one of the recent promising routes to nanocrystalline materials including ceramics. Surfactants dissolved in organic solvents form spheroidal aggregates called reverse (or inverse) micelles. In the presence of water, the polar head groups of the surfactant molecules organize themselves around small water pools (~100 A), leading to dispersion of the aqueous phase in the continuous oil phase.

Reverse micelles are used to prepare nanoparticles by using a water solution of reactive precursors that can be converted to insoluble nanoparticles. Nanopar-ticle synthesis inside the micelles can be achieved by different methods including hydrolysis of reactive precursors, such as alkoxides, and precipitation reactions of metal salts. Solvent removal and subsequent calcination lead to the final product. Several parameters, such as the concentration of the reactive precursor in the micelle and the weight percentage of the aqueous phase in the microemulsion, affect the properties, including particle size, particle-size distribution, agglomerate size, and the phases of the final ceramic powders. There are several advantages to using this method including the ability to prepare very small particles and the ability to control the particle size. Disadvantages include low production yields and the need to use large amounts of liquids.

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