Deposition of silica nanoparticles onto alumina measured by optical reflectometry and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation techniques
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 2014, 443 384-390. 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2013.11.049
Understanding of the interactions between particles and the substrate is important for successful sol–gel deposition of thin films. We have studied the deposition of silica nanoparticles on alumina coated surfaces in aqueous electrolytes by optical reflectometry (OR) and a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D). The deposition of negatively charged silica nanoparticles on positively charged alumina was primarily controlled by the electric diffuse double layer interactions between the substrate and the deposited particles, modulated by the counter-ion release. The build-up of a negative charge on the positively charged substrate resulted in a decrease in the deposition rate with increasing surface coverage. Higher surface coverage of silica nanoparticles was obtained at low pH than at high pH conditions, due to reduced electric diffuse double layer repulsion between the silica nanoparticles. The deposition was enhanced at high pH by increasing the concentration of NaCl due to compression of the electric diffuse double layer. In particular, the repulsion between the silica nanoparticles was efficiently screened at a concentration of NaCl higher than 100 mM and thick silica layers could be deposited at pH = 6 and 8.