A liquid-phase method for preparing uniform-sized silica nanospheres (SNSs) 12nm in size and their three-dimensionally ordered arrangement upon solvent evaporation have recently been pioneered by us. Here we report the successful control of the sphere sizes in the wide range from 14 to 550nm by the seed regrowth method. In this method, the dispersion of SNSs 14nm in size as seeds was prepared in the emulsion system containing Si(OEt)4 (TEOS), water and arginine under weakly basic conditions (pH 9-10). An appropriate portion of this dispersion is added to the solution containing water, ethanol and arginine, and then TEOS is added. The additional TEOS introduced into the regrowth system contributed only to the resumed growth of the seeds, not to the formation of new silica particles. The size of interparticle pores was finely tuned by changing the size of the spheres. The preparation of three-dimensionally ordered porous carbons by using the colloidal array of silica nanospheres as a template is also reported.
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