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Microgravity Removes Reaction Limits from Nonpolar Nanoparticle Agglomeration

  • Gravity can affect the agglomeration of nanoparticles by changing convection and sedimentation. The temperature-induced agglomeration of hexadecanethiol-capped gold nanoparticles in microgravity (µ g) is studied at the ZARM (Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity) drop tower and compared to their agglomeration on the ground (1 g). Nonpolar nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic diameter of 13 nm are dispersed in tetradecane, rapidly cooled from 70 to 10 °C to induce agglomeration, and observed by dynamic light scattering at a time resolution of 1 s. The mean hydrodynamic diameters of the agglomerates formed after 8 s in microgravity are 3 times (for low initial concentrations) to 5 times (at high initial concentrations) larger than on the ground. The observations are consistent with an agglomeration process that is closer to the reaction limit on thground and closer to the diffusion limit in microgravity.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Andrea PyttlikORCiD, Björn KuttichORCiD, Tobias KrausORCiD
Parent Title (English):Small
First Page:2204621
Year of first Publication:2022
Release Date:2022/11/25
Tag:diffusion-limited agglomeration; dynamic light scattering; microgravity; nanoparticles; reaction-limited agglomeration
Impact:15.153 (2021)
Funding Information:German Aerospace Center. Grant Number: 50WM1763 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt. Grant Number: 50WM1763
Scientific Units:Structure Formation
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 660 Technische Chemie
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2022/105
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International