Research paper by Vladimir M VM Gun'ko, Volodymyr V VV Turov, Evgeniy M EM Pakhlov, Tatyana V TV Krupskaya, Mykola Vasylyovych MV Borysenko, Mykola T MT Kartel, Barbara B Charmas

Indexed on: 14 Sep '18Published on: 14 Sep '18Published in: Langmuir


It is well known that interaction of hydrophobic powders with water is weak, and upon mixing, they typically form separated phases. Preparation of hydrophobic nanosilica AM1 with a relatively large content of bound water with no the formation of the separated phases was the aim of this study. Unmodified nanosilica A-300 and initial AM1 (A-300 completely hydrophobized by dimethyldichlorosilane), compacted A-300 (cA-300), and compacted AM1 (cAM1) containing 50-58 wt.% of bound water were studied using low-temperature 1H NMR spectroscopy, thermogravimetry, infrared spectroscopy, microscopy, small angle X-ray scattering, nitrogen adsorption, and theoretical modeling. After mechanical activation (~20 atm) upon stirring of AM1/water mixture at the degree of hydration h = 1.0 or 1.4 g of distilled water per gram of dry silica, all water is bound and the blend has the bulk density of 0.7 g/cm3. The temperature and interfacial behaviors of bound water depend strongly on a dispersion media type (air, chloroform, and chloroform with trifluoroacetic acid (4:1)) because the boundary area between immiscible water and chloroform should be minimal. Water and chloroform molecules are of different sizes affecting their distribution in pores (voids between silica nanoparticles in their aggregates) of different sizes. Structural, morphological, and textural characteristics of silicas, and environmental features affect not only the distribution of bound water, but also the amounts of strongly (frozen at T < 260 K) and weakly (frozen at 260 K < T < 273 K) bound and strongly (chemical shift δH = 4-6 ppm) and weakly (δH = 1-2 ppm) associated waters. Despite the changes in the characteristics of cAM1, it demonstrates a flotation effect. The developed system with cAM1/bound water could be of interest from a practical point of view due to controlled interactions with aqueous surroundings.