Scientific article

Specific Ion Effects and pH Dependence on the Interaction Forces between Polystyrene Particles

Published inLangmuir, vol. 32, no. 45, p. 11918-11927
Publication date2016

Colloidal interactions have been extensively studied due to the wide number of applications where colloids are present. In general, the electric double layer force and the van der Waals interaction dominate the net force acting between two colloids at large separation distances. However, it is well accepted that some other phenomena, especially those acting at short separation distances, might be relevant and induce substantial changes in the force profiles. Within these phenomena, those related to the surface contact angle, the hydration degree of the ions, or the pH, may dominate the force profiles features, not only at short distances. In this paper, we analyzed the effect of the pH and counterion type on the long-range as well as short-range forces between polystyrene colloidal particles by using the colloidal probe technique based on AFM. Our results confirm that the features of the force profiles between polystyrene surfaces are strongly affected by the pH and hydration degree of the counterions in solution. Additionally, we performed a study of the role of the pH on the wettability properties of hydrated and nonhydrated polystyrene sheets to scan the wettability properties of this material with pH. Contact angle measurements confirmed that the polystyrene surface is hydrophobic in aqueous solutions over the entire range of pHs investigated. These results are in good agreement with the features observed in the force profiles at low pH. At high pH, a short-range repulsion similar to the one observed for hydrophilic materials is observed. This repulsion scales with the pH, and it also depends on the hydration degree of the ions in solution. This way, the short-range forces between polystyrene surfaces may be tunable with the pH, and its origin does not seem to be related to the hydrophobicity of the material.

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Citation (ISO format)
MONTES RUIZ-CABELLO, F. Javier et al. Specific Ion Effects and pH Dependence on the Interaction Forces between Polystyrene Particles. In: Langmuir, 2016, vol. 32, n° 45, p. 11918–11927. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b03316
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0743-7463

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