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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 483651, 6 pages
Research Article

Synthesis of Hollow Silica Nanospheres by Sacrificial Polystyrene Templates for Thermal Insulation Applications

1Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway
2Department of Architectural Design, History and Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway
3Department of Materials and Structures, SINTEF Building and Infrastructure, 7465 Trondheim, Norway

Received 10 January 2013; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Marcel Ausloos

Copyright © 2013 Linn Ingunn C. Sandberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Monodisperse polystyrene (PS) spheres with controllable size have been synthesized by a straight forward and simple procedure. The as-synthesized PS spheres have a typical diameter ranging from ~180 nm to ~900 nm, where a reduced sphere size is obtained by increasing the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)/styrene weight ratio. The PS spheres function as sacrificial templates for the fabrication of hollow silica nanospheres (HSNSs) for thermal insulation applications. By modifying the silica coating process, HSNSs with different surface roughness are obtained. All resulting HSNSs show typically a thermal conductivity of about 20 mW/(mK), indicating that the surface phonon scattering is probably not significant in these HSNS samples.