Surface chemistry of water-dispersed detonation nanodiamonds modified by atmospheric DC plasma afterglow†
Surface modification of detonation nanodiamonds (DNDs) is a key factor for their application in diverse fields of science and technology. In this work we report on an easy and low-cost method for modifying water-dispersed DNDs by atmospheric DC plasma afterglow. DNDs were used in either as-received form (asrec-DND) or were oxidized by air-annealing at 450 °C for 30 minutes (O-DND). The influence of applied voltage and thus the type of discharge (corona discharge at 10 kV or transient spark discharge at 15 kV) and treatment duration (5 and 10 minutes) on the surface chemistry of DNDs was evaluated by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy supported by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Treated asrec-DNDs revealed stable positive ζ-potential (30 mV) during rearrangement of oxygen-containing moieties (changes in area below 1250 cm−1) as well as CHx groups, reflected in the enormous enhancement of the band at 1328 cm−1 and disappearance of the CC band at 1589 cm−1. On the other hand, the DC discharge afterglow had only minor impact on the surface chemistry of O-DND particles, as detected by FTIR and XPS, while a negative change of ζ-potential by up to 22 mV occurred. O-DND particles dried in vacuum also exhibited a noticeable catalytic effect towards hydrocarbons.