- Saturday, December 1, 2007
- Effect of microemulsion variables on copper oxide nanoparticle uptake by AOT microemulsions
- Published at:Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Volume 316, Issue 2, 15 December 2007, Pages 442-450
Ultradispersed metal oxide nanoparticles have applications as heterogeneous catalysts for organic reactions. Their catalytic activity depends primarily on their surface area, which in turn, is dictated by their size, colloidal concentration and stability. This work presents a microemulsion approach for in situ preparation of ultradispersed copper oxide nanoparticles and discusses the effect of different microemulsion variables on their stability and highest possible time-invariant colloidal concentration (nanoparticle uptake). In addition, a model which describes the effect of the relevant variables on the nanoparticle uptake is evaluated. The preparation technique involved solubilizing CuCl2 in single microemulsions followed by direct addition of NaOH. Upon addition of NaOH, copper hydroxide nanoparticles stabilized in the water pools formed in addition to a bulk copper hydroxide precipitate at the bottom. The copper hydroxide nanoparticles transformed with time into copper oxide. After reaching a time-independent concentration, mixing had limited effect on the nanoparticle uptake and particle size. Particle size increased with increasing the surfactant concentration, concentration of the precursor salt, and water to surfactant mol ratio; while the nanoparticle uptake increased linearly with the surfactant concentration, displayed an optimum with R and a power function with the concentration of the precursor salt. Surface areas per gram of nanoparticles were much higher than literature values. Even though lower area per gram of nanoparticles was obtained at higher uptake, higher surface area per unit volume of the reverse micellar system was attained. A model based on water uptake by Wisor type II microemulsions, and previously used to describe iron oxide nanoparticle uptake by the same microemulsions, agreed well with the experimental results.