Crystalline nanoparticle aggregation in non-aqueous solvents

Nathan D. Burrows, Ellina Kesselman, Kairat Sabyrov, Amanda Stemig, Yeshayahu Talmon, R. Lee Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The aggregation of suspended metal oxide and oxyhydroxide nanoparticles dramatically changes as a function of solvent properties. In addition, solvent selection can offer an additional parameter for controlling aggregation and aggregative crystal growth (e.g., oriented aggregation). Here, results are presented demonstrating dramatic changes in the aggregation state of goethite (α-FeOOH), anatase (TiO2), and ferrihydrite (Fe 5HO8·4H2O) nanoparticles as a function of changing solvents. Results are discussed in the context of Derjaguin and Landau, Verwey and Overbeek (DLVO) theory, additional dynamic light scattering data, and solvent properties like dielectric constant and coordinative ability. Generally speaking, solvents that strongly coordinate the metal oxide/oxyhydroxide surfaces produce the smallest and least compact aggregates, whereas those that weakly coordinate produce the largest and most compact aggregates. Dielectric constant and the nanoparticle morphology are also important factors that impact aggregation state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1472-1481
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 28 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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