Nanoparticle metrology of silicates using time-resolved multiplexed dye fluorescence anisotropy, small angle x-ray scattering and molecular dynamics simulations

Daniel Doveiko, Alan R.G. Martin, Vladislav Vyshemirsky, Simon Stebbing, Karina Kubiak-Ossowska, Olaf Rolinski, David J.S. Birch, Yu Chen

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Abstract

We investigate the nanometrology of sub-nanometre particle sizes in industrially manufactured sodium silicate liquors at high pH using time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy. Rather than the previous approach of using a single dye label, we investigate and quantify the advantages and limitations of multiplexing two fluorescent dye labels. Rotational times of the non-binding rhodamine B and adsorbing rhodamine 6G dyes are used to independently determine the medium microviscosity and the silicate particle radius, respectively. The anisotropy measurements were performed on the range of samples prepared by diluting the stock solution of silicate to concentrations ranging between 0.2 M and 2 M of NaOH and on the stock solution at different temperatures. Additionally, it was shown that the particle size can also be measured using a single excitation wavelength when both dyes are present in the sample. The recovered average particle size has an upper limit of 7.0 ± 1.2 Å. The obtained results were further verified using small-angle X-ray scattering, with the recovered particle size equal to 6.50 ± 0.08 Å. To disclose the impact of the dye label on the measured complex size, we further investigated the adsorption state of rhodamine 6G on silica nanoparticles using molecular dynamics simulations, which showed that the size contribution is strongly impacted by the size of the nanoparticle of interest. In the case of the higher radius of curvature (less curved) of larger particles, the size contribution of the dye label is below 10%, while in the case of smaller and more curved particles, the contribution increases significantly, which also suggests that the particles of interest might not be perfectly spherical.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1686
Number of pages20
JournalMaterials
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • sodium silicates
  • fluorescence anisotropy decay
  • particle metrology
  • rhodamine 6G
  • rhodamine B
  • SAXS
  • MD
  • adsorption
  • molecular dynamics

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