Langmuir, Vol.33, No.20, 5046-5051, 2017
Orders of Magnitude Reduction of Rapid Coagulation Rate with Decreasing Size of Silica Nanoparticles
The modification of the classical Smoluchowski theory for the rapid coagulation rate of colloidal particles, which takes account of the effect of the squeezing flow between colliding particles, has been widely accepted because it predicts experimental results adequately. However, it is not clear whether the modified theory, in which the coagulation rate is independent of the particle size, is applicable even to nanoparticles in solutions. In the present study, the rapid coagulation rates of silica particles in various 2 M chloride and 1 M potassium solutions were measured by using a low-angle light-scattering apparatus, and the dependence of rapid coagulation rate on the particle diameter, D-p was investigated extensively. It was clearly shown that the rapid coagulation rate of spherical silica particles reduces by the orders of magnitude with decreasing particle size at D-p <= 300 nm, whereas it coincides with the value predicted by the modified theory at D-p >= 300 nm. A possible mechanism is proposed, and an analytical equation, which predicts the dramatic reduction in the rapid coagulation rate with decreasing particle size, is derived.