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Issue 42, 2019
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In situ structure and force characterization of 2D nano-colloids at the air/water interface

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Abstract

The control of self-assembly and the related interactions among nanoparticles (NPs) at liquid surfaces and interfaces represents a stimulating experimental challenge to fully understand the behaviour of nano-colloids confined in a 2D asymmetric environment, in turn prompting the building of novel NP-based functional monolayers. Here, we first investigate the structural evolution of a model mixed surfactant/NP monolayer as a function of the surfactant/NP bulk ratio finding that, at ratios lower than 20, the adsorption at the air/water interface of surfactant-decorated NPs is dominant. We then employed these 2D nano-colloidal monolayers as model systems for grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering measurements, performed using synchrotron radiation, while compressing the monolayers in a Langmuir trough. The simultaneous determination of the compression work and the related reduction of the inter-particle distance at the interface enabled, for the first time, the quantitative characterization of the forces acting between adsorbed NPs, as well as their dispersion law with the inter-particle distance. Distinct surfactant reorganization processes are proposed to interpret the measured forces and the characteristic inter-particle distances.

Graphical abstract: In situ structure and force characterization of 2D nano-colloids at the air/water interface

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jul 2019, accepted on 06 Oct 2019 and first published on 07 Oct 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01476D
Soft Matter, 2019,15, 8475-8482

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    In situ structure and force characterization of 2D nano-colloids at the air/water interface

    G. Li-Destri, R. Ruffino, N. Tuccitto and G. Marletta, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 8475
    DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01476D

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