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Hydration forces between silica surfaces: Experimental data and predictions from different theories
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2005 (English)In: The Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol. 123, 034708- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Silica is a very interesting system that has been thoroughly studied in the last decades. One of the most outstanding characteristics of silica suspensions is their stability in solutions at high salt concentrations. In addition to that, measurements of direct-interaction forces between silica surfaces, obtained by different authors by means of surface force apparatus or atomic force microscope (AFM), reveal the existence of a strong repulsive interaction at short distances (below 2 nm) that decays exponentially. These results cannot be explained in terms of the classical Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey, and Overbeek (DLVO) theory, which only considers two types of forces: the electrical double-layer repulsion and the London–van der Waals attraction. Although there is a controversy about the origin of the short-range repulsive force, the existence of a structured layer of water molecules at the silica surface is the most accepted explanation for it. The overlap of structured water layers of different surfaces leads to repulsive forces, which are known as hydration forces. This assumption is based on the very hydrophilic nature of silica. Different theories have been developed in order to reproduce the exponentially decaying behavior (as a function of the separation distance) of the hydration forces. Different mechanisms for the formation of the structured water layer around the silica surfaces are considered by each theory. By the aid of an AFM and the colloid probe technique, the interaction forces between silica surfaces have been measured directly at different pH values and salt concentrations. The results confirm the presence of the short-range repulsion at any experimental condition (even at high salt concentration). A comparison between the experimental data and theoretical fits obtained from different theories has been performed in order to elucidate the nature of this non-DLVO repulsive force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 123, 034708- p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-78044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-78044DiVA: diva2:105957
Available from: 2006-03-17 Created: 2006-03-17 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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