Synthesis and Characterization of Polystyrene Nanocapsules

S. Taylor, Y. Chung, U. Ugwu-Uche, L. Chen, V. Amaya Aparicio, S. Jiang, E. Hughes, E. Van Keuren.
Georgetown University,
United States


There has been a great deal of recent research on the synthesis and application of multicomponent nanoparticles. Nanocapsules, which are nanoparticles with a liquid core and solid shell, are one example. These materials have shown promise in applications such as in pharmaceuticals and food additives. We have developed a series of nanocapsules using a method known as flash nanoprecipitation, in which a solution is rapidly mixed with a miscible non-solvent. We synthesized nanocapsules consisting of a polystyrene shell with a liquid core of n-hexadecane. The nanocapsules were characterized using dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. We were able to determine how different compositions of the initial solution affects the resulting nanoparticles. We also investigated how the size of these particles change over time. We will discuss the synthesis of these particles and show that their formation can be described using a simple droplet model.