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Issue 1, 2020
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Polyphosphates can stabilize but also aggregate colloids

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Phosphates are well known as dispersants for a variety of colloidal particles. Here however we use rheological measurements to show that high molecular weight polyphosphates (PP) can instead act as a flocculant for LAPONITE® clay platelets. The proposed mechanism is bridging of PP between clay particle edges, leading to highly charged clusters forming a Wigner glass. Dynamic light scattering shows a bimodal cluster size distribution, independent of PP molecular weight, but the highest molecular weight gave the highest viscous and loss moduli for the PP–clay solid. These unique all-inorganic solids may have application in solid-state ionic conducting materials, controlled release fertilizers and biomedical applications.

Graphical abstract: Polyphosphates can stabilize but also aggregate colloids

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Article information

23 Sep 2019
29 Nov 2019
First published
29 Nov 2019

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020,22, 15-19
Article type

Polyphosphates can stabilize but also aggregate colloids

R. J. B. Motta, A. Z. F. Almeida, B. L. B. de Lima, R. Schneider, R. D. C. Balaban, J. S. van Duijneveldt and R. J. de Oliveira, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 15
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP05225A

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