Sci Rep 2020 03 13;10(1):4628. Epub 2020 Mar 13.
Nanotechnology group of Malvern Panalytical Ltd., Grovewood Road, Malvern, WR14 1XZ, United Kingdom.
With the industrialisation of nanoparticle manufacture, the pervasive incursion of nanoparticles into the environment, the need to characterise nano-scale pharmaceuticals and living systems in replicated in vivo conditions, the continuing development of new theories to describe the electro-kinetic behaviour of nano-particles in representative ionic strengths and numerous other applications, there is an urgent requirement to provide simple and effective experimental tools to validate these models and explore new systems. Micro-electrophoresis implemented with a diffusion barrier, which isolates the dispersed phase from the electrode surface, is demonstrated as enabling such measurements for the first time, preventing the catastrophic outgassing, precipitation and sample degradation observed when the dispersed phase is in close proximity to the electrode surface. Using a measurement of a few minute's duration in a standard laboratory light scattering instrument we reproduce the theoretically predicted phenomena of asymptotic, non-zero electrophoretic mobility with increasing ionic strength, the cationic Hofmeister series dependency, charge inversion and a continuously decreasing variation in mobility with pH as molarity increases. Read More