Good control of the morphology, particle size, uniformity and dispersity of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) is of increasing importance to their use in catalyst, adsorption, polymer filler, optical devices, bio-imaging, drug delivery, and biomedical applications. This review discusses different synthesis methodologies to prepare well-dispersed MSNs and hollow silica nanoparticles (HSNs) with tunable dimensions ranging from a few to hundreds of nanometers of different mesostructures. The methods include fast self-assembly, soft and hard templating, a modified Stöber method, dissolving-reconstruction and modified aerogel approaches. In practical applications, the MSNs prepared by these methods demonstrate good potential for use in high-performance catalysis, antireflection coating, transparent polymer-MSNs nanocomposites, drug-release and theranostic systems.
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