Author(s): Pease LF rd, Tsai DH, Hertz JL, Zangmeister RA, Zachariah MR,
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Abstract Here we demonstrate a rapid and quantitative means to characterize the size and packing structure of small clusters of nanoparticles in colloidal suspension. Clustering and aggregation play important roles in a wide variety of phenomena of both scientific and technical importance, yet characterizing the packing of nanoparticles within small clusters and predicting their aerodynamic size remains challenging because available techniques can lack adequate resolution and sensitivity for clusters smaller than 100 nm (optical techniques), perturb the packing arrangement (electron microscopies), or provide only an ensemble average (light scattering techniques). In this article, we use electrospray-differential mobility analysis (ES-DMA), a technique that exerts electrical and drag forces on the clusters, to determine the size and packing of small clusters. We provide an analytical model to determine the mobility size of various packing geometries based on the projected area of the clusters. Data for clusters aggregated from nominally 10 nm gold particles and nonenveloped viruses of various sizes show good agreement between measured and predicted cluster sizes for close-packed spheres.
This article was published in Langmuir
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology