The increased utilization of one-dimensional (1D) TiO2 and titanate nanowires (TNWs) in various applications was the motivation behind studying their stability in this work, given that stability greatly influences both the success of the application and the environmental impact. Due to their high abundance in aqueous environments and their rich technological applicability, surfactants are among the most interesting compounds used for tailoring the stability.
The aim of this paper is to determine the influence of surfactant molecular structure on TNW stability/aggregation behavior in water and aqueous NaBr solution by dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering. To accomplish this, two structurally different quaternary ammonium surfactants (monomeric DTAB and the corresponding dimeric 12-2-12) at monomer and micellar concentrations were used to investigate TNW stability in water and NaBr. It was shown that TNWs are relatively stable in Milli-Q water. However, the addition of NaBr induces aggregation, especially as the TNW mass concentration increases. DTAB and 12-2-12 adsorb on TNW surfaces as a result of the superposition of favorable electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. ... mehrAs expected, the interaction of TNWs with 12-2-12 was stronger than with DTAB, due to the presence of two positively charged head groups and two hydrophobic tails. As a consequence of the higher adsorption of 12-2-12, TNWs remained stable in both media, while DTAB showed an opposite behavior.
In order to gain more insight into changes in the surface properties after surfactant adsorption on the TNW surface, a surface complexation model was employed. With this first attempt to quantify the contribution of the surfactant structure on the adsorption equilibrium according to the observed differences in the intrinsic log K values, it was shown that 12-2-12 interacts more strongly with TNWs than DTAB. The modelling results enable a better understanding of the interaction between TNWs and surfactants as well as the prediction of the conditions that can promote stabilization or aggregation