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Nano Lett. 2005 Dec;5(12):2489-94.

Adsorbed triblock copolymers deliver reactive iron nanoparticles to the oil/water interface.

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  • 1Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890, USA.


Reactive zero valent iron nanoparticles can degrade toxic nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPL) rapidly in contaminated groundwater to nontoxic products in situ, provided they can be delivered preferentially to the NAPL/water (oil/water) interface. This study demonstrates the ability of novel triblock copolymers to modify the nanoiron surface chemistry in a way that both promotes their colloidal stability in aqueous suspension and drives their adsorption to the oil/water interface. The ability of the copolymers to drive adsorption is demonstrated by the ability of copolymer-modified iron nanoparticles, but not the unmodified iron nanoparticles, to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions.

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