ABSTRACT: Narrowly-dispersed silver@silica@poly(methacrylic acid) (Ag@SiO(2)@PMAA) core-double shell hybrid nanoparticles (NPs) were first synthesized by distillation-precipitation polymerization, using silver@silica core-shell NPs from the sol-gel reaction as templates. Selective removal of the inorganic silica inner-shell from the Ag@SiO(2)@PMAA core-double shell hybrid NPs by HF etching produces the Ag@air@PMAA hybrid nanorattles with a Ag nanocore, PMAA shell and free space in between. The Ag nanocores, Ag@SiO(2) core-shell NPs, Ag@SiO(2)@PMAA core-double shell NPs and Ag@air@PMAA hybrid nanorattles were characterized by field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. The as-synthesized Ag@air@PMAA hybrid nanorattles were explored as a nanoreactor system for confined catalytic reaction. The rate of catalytic reaction can be further regulated by controlling molecule diffusion in and out of the stimuli-responsive PMAA shell through the simple variation of environmental stimuli, such as salt (NaCl) concentration of the medium.
Polymer Chemistry. 2(6):1368-1374.