Influence of size, shape, and surface coating on the stability of aqueous suspensions of CdSe nanoparticles

Martin J. Mulvihill, Susan E. Habas, Ilan Jen-La Plante, Jiamin Wan, Taleb Mokari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


In response to the rapid development and emerging commercialization of nanoparticles, fundamental studies concerning the fate of nanoparticles in the environment are needed. Precise control over the nanoparticle size, shape, and surface coating of cadmium selenide particles modified with thiolate ligands has been used to analyze the effects of nanoparticle design on their stability in aqueous environments. Nanoparticle stability was quantified using the concept of critical coagulation concentration (CCC) in solutions of sodium chloride. These investigations characterized the instability of the ligand coatings, which varied directly with chain length of the capping ligands. The stability of the ligand coatings were characterized as a function of time, pH, and ionic strength. Ligand dissociation has been shown to be a primary mechanism for nanoparticle aggregation when short-chain (C2-C6) ligands are used in the ligand shell. Stable nanoparticle suspensions prepared with long chain ligands (C11) were used to characterize nanoparticle stability as a function of size and shape. A linear relationship between particle surface area and the CCC was discovered and was found to be independent of nanoparticle shape. Quantitative analysis of nanoparticle size, shape, and surface coating demonstrated the importance of ligand stability and particle surface area for the prediction of nanoparticle stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5251-5257
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number18
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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