Investigation of the concentration- and temperature-dependent motion of colloidal nanoparticles†
Although the motion of a single nanoparticle suspended in a fluid can be easily modeled, things get complicated for non-infinitely diluted systems. Coincidentally, these are the systems of interest in relevant fields such as, nanomedicine, microfluidics and miniaturized energy storage devices. Hence, a better understanding of the dynamics of colloidal nanoparticles is utterly needed. Herein, the motion of colloidal suspension of plasmonic nanoparticles (i.e., gold nanoshells) is investigated via laser speckle imaging. The method relies on the analysis of the speckle pattern generated by colloidal suspensions forced to flow at specific velocities. Temperature-dependent measurements corroborated that the dynamics of non-infinitely diluted nanoparticle suspensions are better described through a diffusive model rather than by the equipartition theorem. Under the tested experimental conditions, an average diffusion velocity between 0.37 and 1.57 mm s−1 was found. Most importantly, these values were largely dependent on the nanoparticle concentration. These results are in agreement with previous reports and indicate the existence of long-range interactions between nanoparticles.