Core/Shell Nanospheres, Hollow Capsules, and Bottles
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The design and synthesis of nanoscale materials is important in the fabrication of advanced devices for optics, electronics, and biotechnology. Over the past decade, considerable effort has been devoted to the design and controlled fabrication of nanostructured materials with functional properties. The interest in nanoscale materials comes from the fact that their properties (optical, electrical, or chemical, etc.) are the functions of their size, composition, and structural order. Colloidal particles represent attractive building blocks from which to create ordered and complex materials. They are also of widespread interest in chemical engineering, biological, and pharmaceutical applications. In biotechnology, the encapsulation and delivery of proteins and DNA into cells has led to the implementation of intracellular medicinal therapies such as gene therapy. Completion of the human genome project has ensured the former, leaving the synthesis of encapsulation and delivery materials as perhaps the single most important challenge in intracellular medicinal therapies. Recently, core-shell particles and micro- or nanosized capsules have received considerable attentions for their technological importance in many fields. There have been many efforts to fabricate core-shell colloidal materials with tailored structural, surface, and optical properties. The creation of core-shell colloidal particles is also of interest from a fundamental viewpoint, especially in the areas of colloid and interface science. They can be utilized as model systems to investigate factors governing colloidal interactions and stabilization and to gain valuable information on the properties of concentrated dispersions.