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Langmuir. 2007 Feb 13;23(4):1623-5. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

Influence of nanobubbles on the adsorption of nanoparticles.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Korea.


A quartz crystal microbalance was used to study the influence of nanobubbles on the adsorption of polystyrene nanoparticles onto surfaces coated with gold, or coated with dodecanethiol or mercaptoundecanoic acid self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Adsorption of the nanoparticles onto the surface causes the resonant frequency of the quartz crystal to decrease. We found that particles were adsorbed onto the gold-coated quartz crystal in air-rich water, but not in degassed water. This finding supports the long-standing hypothesis that nanobubbles play a key role in the long-range attractive force between hydrophobic surfaces in aqueous solutions. When the experiments were conducted using quartz crystals coated with a hydrophobic dodecanethiol SAM, the nanoparticles were adsorbed onto the surface even in degassed water due to the short-range hydrophobic interactions between the nanoparticles and the dodecanethiol molecules. In contrast, the nanoparticles were adsorbed to a lesser degree onto the hydrophilic mercaptoundecanoic acid-coated crystals due to electrostatic repulsive forces.


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