Effect of surface charge density on the affinity of oxide nanoparticles for the vapor–water interface

Research Division Biology and Chemistry (BIO), Surface Chemistry Group, Head Markus Ammann. Using in-situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at the vapor-water interface, the affinity of nanometer-sized silica colloids to adsorb at the interface is shown to depend on colloid surface charge density. In aqueous suspensions at pH 10 corrected Debye-Hückel theory for surface complexation calculations predict that smaller silica colloids have increased negative surface charge density that originates from enhanced screening of deprotonated silanol groups by counterions in the condensed ion layer. The increased negative surface charge density results in an electrostatic repulsion from the vapor-water interface that is seen to a lesser extent for larger particles that have a reduced charge density in the XPS measurements. We compare the results and interpretation of the in-situ XPS and corrected Debye-Hückel theory for surface complexation calculations with traditional surface tension measurements. Our results show that controlling the surface charge density of colloid particles can regulate their adsorption to the interface between two dielectrics.
Citation: M. A. Brown, N. Duyckaerts, A. B. Redondo, I. Jordan, F. Nolting, A. Kleibert, M. Ammann, H. J. Wörner, J. A. van Bokhoven and Z. Abbas, Langmuir 29, 5023 (2013)

Publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la4005054

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