, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 35-46

Identification of the Dispersion Behavior of Surface Treated Nanoscale Powders

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The stability of highly acidic metal oxide surface treatments on rutile titanium dioxide nanopowders (40 nm nominal particle size) is examined. Dispersions are characterized in terms of their sedimentation behavior and light scattering pattern. Using elliptically polarized light scattering (EPLS), agglomerates are identified as fractal structures and size analysis is performed according to the measured fractal dimension. The effect of ultrasonication on agglomerate size and structure (compactness) is quantified for tungsten oxide and molybdenum oxide surface treatments, as well as untreated titanium oxide. Surface treatments are shown to increase dispersion stability, as witnessed by the decreased size of large agglomerates and sedimentation behavior. The EPLS fractal studies, combined with ultrasonication analysis, reveals information of agglomerate shapes, primary particle bonds and structures, and agglomerate growth mechanisms.