Silica nanoparticles are silica spheres in the micron size range. Because of their
shape and ordered arrangement, these nanoparticles serve important purposes in
high-tech industries and modern applications such as cancer therapy, drug and
DNA delivery systems, ultrasensitive analysis, and nanoparticle films. Applications
depend on order in packing of nanoparticles, which in turn depends on particle
charge. Silica nanoparticles were synthesized using published methods and the
pH of the solution bathing the nanoparticle was altered. The nanoparticle solutions
were then characterized by size with SAXS lighting scattering and by surface
charge with an electrophoretic method. Though zeta-potential tests provided
variable data with each batch of particles, the overall pattern was consistent. It
was found that zeta potential decreases as pH becomes more acidic.
Additional contributors: Jun Alex Lee; Michael Tsapatsis (faculty mentor).
Characterizing the pH Dependence of Surface Charge for Silica Nanoparticles Made by Amino Acid Synthesis.
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