The characterization of the surface chemistry of nanoparticles using infrared spectroscopy of adsorbed solvents is proposed. In conventional IR spectroscopy of nanomaterials the capability of characterizing the chemistry of the surface is limited. To overcome these limitations, we record IR spectra of different solvents inside a fixed bed of the nanopowder to be tested. Using water and different alcohols as solvents enables the characterization of the nanomaterial's surface chemistry via the molecular interactions affecting the hydrogen-bonding network in the solvent. Different ceramic nanopowders (titania, two different iron oxides, and iron oxide nanocrystallites embedded in a closed silica matrix) are studied using water, ethanol, and n-butanol as solvents. The OH stretching region of the IR spectra reveals characteristic differences in the surface chemistry of the nanoparticles. The proposed method is fast and straightforward, and hence, it can be a versatile tool for rapid screening.
- TRANSMISSION ELECTRON-MICROSCOPY
- ATOMIC-FORCE MICROSCOPY
- ATR-FTIR SPECTROSCOPY
- IR SPECTROSCOPY