Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Interfacial Activity and Contact Angle of Homogeneous, Functionalized, and Janus Nanoparticles at the Water/Decane Interface.

PMID 26208255


Surface heterogeneity affects the behavior of nanoparticles at liquid interfaces. To gain a deeper understanding on the details of these phenomena, we have measured the interfacial activity and contact angle at water/decane interfaces for three different types of nanoparticles: homogeneous poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), silica functionalized with a capping ligand containing a methacrylate terminal group, and Ag-based Janus colloids with two capping ligands of different hydrophobicity. The interfacial activity was analyzed by pendant drop tensiometry, and the contact angle was measured directly by freeze-fracture shadow-casting cryo-scanning electron microscopy. The silver Janus nanoparticles presented the highest interfacial activity, compared to the silica nanoparticles and the homogeneous PMMA nanoparticles. Additionally, increasing the bulk concentration of the PMMA and silica nanoparticles up to 100-fold compared to the Janus nanoparticles led to silica particles forming fractal-like structures at the interface, contrary to the PMMA particles that did not show any spontaneous adsorption.