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Pure Appl. Chem., 2013, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 41-51

Published online 2012-08-07

Electrophoretic mobility of latex nanospheres in electrolytes: Experimental challenges

Claire Chassagne* and Maria Ibanez

Department of Environmental Fluid Mechanics, TU Delft, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: The electrophoretic mobility of sulfate latex nanospheres (radius 300 ± 10 nm) was measured as a function of ionic strength for different salts. The results were obtained from two similar instruments (Malvern ZetaSizer 3000 HSa and Malvern ZetaSizer Nano) using the same dispersions, in the same conditions. The values predicted from the standard electrokinetic model for constant surface charge were in good agreement with the data over a large range of ionic strength. The influence of the protocol used to fill the cells appears to be of importance between 1–10 mM of added monovalent salt. There, the capillary wall properties seem to influence the electrophoretic measurements, even at fast field reversal (FFR), where electroosmosis should be absent. We found that during a series of measurements with monovalent salts, it was best to fill the cell starting from high ionic strength and decreasing the ionic strength during the series. The measurements with divalent salts were not sensitive to the filling procedure.