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Pseudosolid, Shear-Thinning Gel Formation in Binary Dispersions of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles at Low Volume Fractions

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2014, 00:00 by J. S. Weston, D. Venkataramani, C.P. Aichele, B.P. Grady, J. Harwell, D. Resasco
Hydroxyl groups on the surface of metal oxide nanoparticles (nps) can be protonated or deprotonated depending on solution pH, changing both the magnitude and sign of the nps’ surface charge. Binary mixtures of fumed metal oxide nps, dispersed in water at a solution pH where one species is positively charged and the other is negatively charged, form pseudosolid gels at volume fractions as low as 1.5 vol %. This work maps out regions of gel formation for binary mixtures of silica and alumina nps, silica and titania nps, and alumina and titania nps. The microscopic structure of these gels is investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), acoustic spectroscopy, and light microscopy.