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revised on 26.05.2020 and posted on 27.05.2020by Shalmali Bapat, Doris Segets
The study of sedimentation behavior of nanoparticle dispersions
is important for revealing particle size and colloidal stability characteristics.
Quantitative appraisal of real-world colloidal systems in their native state,
is key for replacing prevailing empiricism in formulation science by
knowledge-based design. Herein, we choose fuel cell inks as one case-example
amongst many other possibilities to present a new visualization technique,
called Transmittogram. This technique readily depicts the time-resolved settling
behavior of solid-liquid dispersions, measured by analytical centrifugation
(AC). Although AC enables the causal examination of agglomeration, settling, and
creaming behavior of dispersions, along with its consequent effect on structure
formation and product properties, the understanding of the main transmission
readout is often non-intuitive and complex. Transmittograms are, therefore, the
missing link for straightforward data interpretation. First, we illustrate the
utility of transmittogram analysis using model silica nanoparticle systems and
further validate it against known characteristics of the system. Then, we demonstrate
the application of transmittograms to characterize fuel cell inks, showing the
strength of the approach in deconvoluting and distilling information to the
reader. Finally, we discuss the
potential of the technique for routine analysis using analytical centrifugation.