The present invention discloses the morphology of hollow, double-shelled submicrometer particles generated through a rapid aerosol-based process. The inner shell is an essentially hydrophobic carbon layer of nanoscale dimension (5-20 nm), and the outer shell is a hydrophilic silica layer of approximately 5-40 nm, with the shell thickness being a function of the particle size. The particles are synthesized by exploiting concepts of salt bridging to lock in a surfactant (CTAB) and carbon precursors together with iron species in the interior of a droplet. This deliberate negation of surfactant templating allows a silica shell to form extremely rapidly, sealing in the organic species in the particle interior. Subsequent pyrolysis results in a buildup of internal pressure, forcing carbonaceous species against the silica wall to form an inner shell of carbon. The incorporation of magnetic iron oxide into the shells opens up applications in external stimuli-responsive nanomaterials.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 Funding was received from the US Department of Energy (grant DE-FG02-05ER46243), the National Science Foundation (grants 0933734, 1034175, and 1236089), and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The United States government has certain rights in this invention.