Aggregation morphology of planar engineered nanomaterials

S. Drew Story, Stephen Boggs, Linda M. Guiney, Mani Ramesh, Mark C. Hersam, C. Jeffrey Brinker, Sharon L. Walker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this investigation, the utility of a static light scattering (SLS) technique to characterize aggregate morphology of two-dimensional engineered nanomaterials (2D ENMs) was systematically evaluated. The aggregation of graphene oxide (GO) and lithiated-molybdenum disulfide (Li-MoS2) were measured and compared to that of a spherical reference colloid, carboxylate-modified latex (CML) nanoparticles. The critical coagulation concentration (CCC) for all dispersions was determined via analysis of aggregation kinetics using time-resolved dynamic light scattering. This technique allowed for the elucidation of the transition from the reaction-limited aggregation (RLA) regime to diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA). The findings of this study support the aggregation trends predicted by Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory and recent computer simulations of aggregation kinetics. For all nanomaterials, as ionic strength increased towards the respective the CCC, fractal dimension decreased; any increase in ionic strength beyond the CCC did not yield significant change in fractal dimension. Across comparable primary particle sizes and using both carbonaceous (GO) and inorganic (Li-MoS2) 2D ENMs, this study further supports the use of SLS for the measurement of fractal dimension for 2D materials. To further support this claim, the aggregate morphology of GO in both RLA and DLA regimes was measured via cryogenic transmission electron microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-853
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Aggregate morphology
  • Critical coagulation concentration
  • Fractal dimension
  • Static light scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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