Nanoparticle–nanobubble interactions: Charge inversion and re-entrant condensation of amidine latex nanoparticles driven by bulk nanobubbles

Minmin Zhang, James R.T. Seddon, Serge G. Lemay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Hypothesis: The stability of colloidal suspensions can be influenced by supersaturation of the supporting electrolyte with gas. It has been proposed that this effect can be attributed to the formation of nanobubbles on the surface of the colloidal particles, in turn influencing DLVO forces. While previous interpretations have focused primarily on van der Waals interactions, probing positively charged particles can provide complementary insight into electrostatic interactions. Experiments: High-power water electrolysis creates an aqueous solution supersaturated with oxygen and hydrogen. We study the ability of this solution to influence the electrophoretic properties of positive nanoparticles as a function of the particle-gas ratio. Both the ζ-potential and the effective hydrodynamic diameter of the resulting nanoentities were studied using dynamic light scattering for a range of nanoparticle sizes. Findings: Gas-saturated solution interacts strongly with positive nanoparticles by decreasing and ultimately reversing the sign of their ζ-potential, which we attribute to the nucleation of negatively charged bubbles at the solid-liquid interface. This leads to re-entrant condensation of the particles near their point of zero charge, as directly observed via an increase in hydrodynamic diameter and macroscopic aggregation. These results indicate that modulation of electrostatic interactions can be the dominant mechanism for gas-particle interactions in these systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-610
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of colloid and interface science
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2019


  • Bulk nanobubble
  • Charge inversion
  • Positive nanoparticle
  • Re-entrant condensation


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