Layering of bidisperse charged nanoparticles in sedimentation†
Bidisperse mixtures of charged nanoparticles form separate layers upon centrifugation as a result of minimization of the system's free energy in sedimentation-diffusion equilibrium. Different factors were investigated experimentally for their effects on the layering, and are supported by theoretical calculations of the full sedimentation profiles. Surprisingly, lighter/smaller nanoparticles can even sink below heavier/larger ones when the particle surface charge is carefully tuned. This study provides deeper insights into the control of layering in polydisperse particle mixtures during sedimentation.