Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.140, No.42, 13793-13797, 2018
Capturing the Freeze-Drying Dynamics of NaCl Nanoparticles Using THz Spectroscopy
Sodium chloride (NaCl) aqueous solution becomes NaCl hydrate, NaCl center dot 2H(2)O, at low temperature, which is different from potassium chloride and is a typical complex model for studying the freeze-drying process in foods and pharmaceuticals. Here, we detected unit-cell-sized NaCl particles in ice as precursor substances of NaCl center dot H2O during freezing of NaCl solution by using terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. In the freezing process, Na+ and Cl- ions form two types of metastable unit-cell-sized NaCl particles on the pathway to the well-known NaCl center dot H2O crystal production, which are not listed in the phase diagram of freezing of NaCl solution but have absorption peaks in THz spectra. This finding of single unit-cell-sized particles signifies the importance of studying the freeze-drying process in-depth and offers a new possibility for the development of freeze-drying technology for the manufacture of nanometer-sized particles such as ultrafine pharmaceutical powders, which more readily dissolve in water.