Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 14, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Impact of surface defects on the surface charge of gibbsite nanoparticles

Author affiliations

Abstract

We use high resolution Atomic Force Microscopy to study the surface charge of the basal plane of gibbsite nanoparticles, with a lateral resolution of approximately 5 nm, in ambient electrolyte of variable pH and salt content. Our measurements reveal surface charge variations on the basal planes that correlate with the presence of topographic defects such as atomic steps. This surface charge heterogeneity, which increases with increasing pH, suggests that for a pH between 6 and 9 the defect sites display a stronger chemical activity than adjacent, apparently atomically smooth regions of the basal plane. Smooth regions display a slight positive surface charge of ≈0.05e per nm2 that hardly varies within this pH range. In contrast, near the topographic defects we observe a much lower charge. Considering the size of the interaction area under the probing tip, this implies that at the defect sites the charge density must be negative, ≈−0.1e per nm2. These measurements demonstrate that surface defects have a large influence on the average surface charge of the gibbsite basal plane. These findings will contribute to understand why surface defects play an important role in various applications, such as fuel cells, chemical synthesis, self-assembly, catalysis and surface treatments.

Graphical abstract: Impact of surface defects on the surface charge of gibbsite nanoparticles

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 08 Dec 2016, accepted on 08 Mar 2017 and first published on 13 Mar 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR09491K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017,9, 4721-4729
  •   Request permissions

    Impact of surface defects on the surface charge of gibbsite nanoparticles

    A. Klaassen, F. Liu, D. van den Ende, F. Mugele and I. Siretanu, Nanoscale, 2017, 9, 4721
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR09491K

Search articles by author