In this work we present a comprehensive experimental study to determine the contact forces between individual metal oxide nanoparticles in the gas-phase using atomic force microscopy. In addition, we determined the amount of physisorbed water for each type of particle surface. By comparing our results with mathematical models of the interaction forces, we could demonstrate that classical continuum models of van der Waals and capillary forces alone cannot sufficiently describe the experimental findings. Rather, the discrete nature of the molecules has to be considered, which leads to ordering at the interface and the occurrence of solvation forces. We demonstrate that inclusion of solvation forces in the model leads to quantitative agreement with experimental data and that tuning of the molecular order by addition of isopropanol vapor allows us to control the interaction forces between the nanoparticles.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Langmuir: the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|