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Aqueous silane modified silica sols: theory and preparation

Peter Greenwood (Eka Chemicals AB, AkzoNobel, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Borje Gevert (Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to study methods of reacting the surface of the particles of silica sols with silanes, primarily gamma‐glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS) and study some basic properties of the modified sols and the nature and structure of the silane groups attached to the particle surface.


The surface of the silica particles was modified by reacting the silica sols with aqueous solutions of silanes, chiefly GPTMS. The presence and structure of silane groups on the particle surface were established by Si‐NMR and C‐NMR, respectively.


Several silanes were studied but silica sols could be readily modified only with GPTMS and glycidoxypropylmethoxydiethoxysilane (GPMDES), most readily if the silanes were pre‐hydrolysed in water. Higher degrees of silylation were preferably done by continuous addition of silane. Lower degrees of modification can be achieved at room temperature by the stepwise addition of the silane solution. The silylation of the silica surface with GPTMS significantly reduces the number of charged surface groups and silanol groups. GPTMS binds covalently to the silica surface and the epoxy ring opens and transforms into a diol. Silica sols modified with GPTMS and GPMDES are stable toward aggregation.

Research limitations/implications

Only organo‐reactive silanes were studied.


This is the first work to study the modification by silanes of silica aquasols with high concentrations of silica. The silane modification can extend the use of silica to areas of applications previously inaccessible to silica sols.



Greenwood, P. and Gevert, B. (2011), "Aqueous silane modified silica sols: theory and preparation", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 275-284.



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