Exploration of the use of metal silicates as a precursor for generating potential thermal insulation materials and flexible films for encapsulation of food ingredients and additives: A simple evaporation process or a variety of other technologies such as sol-gel process or in-situ gas generation can be used to generate porous material and silicate films from silicate solution. Studies indicated that adsorption of fatty acids onto a silicate substrate leads to formation of fatty acid films. These films formed on the silicate substrate can be used to encapsulate food additives and drugs for controlled release.
Application of silica nanoparticles as a substrate for developing Optical Nano-probes and Composite Nano-materials: Another aspect of silica stems from its ability to bind fluorescence molecules. Silica due to its hydrophilic character, non-specifically binds to polar molecules. Studies show that silica nanoparticle can be used to entrap fluorescence molecules by taking advantage of its binding ability. Silica nanoparticles are synthesized from tetra ethyl orthosilicate using Stőber process and used to study the interaction with fluorescence molecules such as 2,7 dichlorofluorescein and chlorin e6 (phytochlorin). Studies are also directed to entrap metal- complexes as means to produce stable composite nanomaterial containing metals such as Zn.