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Journal Articles Langmuir Year : 2019

Colloidal Stability of Imogolite Nanotube Dispersions: A Phase Diagram Study

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In this article, we revisit the colloidal stability of clay imogolite nanotubes by studying the effect of electrostatic interactions on geo-inspired synthetic nanotubes in aqueous dispersions. The nanotubes in question are double-walled aluminogermanate imogolite nanotubes (Ge-DWINTs) with a well-defined diameter (4.3 nm) and with an aspect ratio around 4. Surface charge properties are assessed by electrophoretic measurements, revealing that the outer surfaces of Ge-DWINT are positively charged up to high pH values. Series of Ge-DWINT dispersions have been prepared by osmotic stress to control both ionic strength of the dispersion and the volume fraction in nanotubes. Optical observations coupled to Small and Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS) experiments allow us to unravel different nanotube organizations. At low ionic strength (IS < 10−2 mol.L−1), Ge-DWINTs are fully dispersed in water while they form an arrested gel phase above a given concentration threshold, which shifts towards higher volume fraction with increasing ionic strength. The swelling law, derived from the evolution of the mean intertube distance as a function of the nanotube concentration, evidences a transition from isotropic swelling at low volume fractions to one-dimensional swelling at higher volume fractions. These results show that the colloidal stability of Ge-DWINT is driven by repulsive interactions for ionic strengths lower than 10-2 mol.L-1. By contrast, higher salt concentrations lead to attractive interactions that destabilize the colloid suspension, inducing nanotube coagulation into larger structures that settle over time or form opaque gels. Detailed simulations of the WAXS diagram reveal that aggregates are mainly formed by an isotropic distribution of small bundles (less than 4 nanotubes) in which the nanotubes organized themselves in parallel orientation. Altogether, these measurements allow us to give the first overview of the phase diagram of colloidal dispersions based on geo-inspired imogolite-like nanotubes.
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hal-02321972 , version 1 (21-10-2019)



Erwan Paineau, Geoffrey Monet, Véronique Peyre, Claire Goldmann, Stéphan Rouzière, et al.. Colloidal Stability of Imogolite Nanotube Dispersions: A Phase Diagram Study. Langmuir, 2019, 35 (38), pp.12451-12459. ⟨10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b01922⟩. ⟨hal-02321972⟩
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