The interfacial and assembly properties of in situ producing silica nanoparticle at oil-water interface

Zhongliang Hu, Hongxing Zhang, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In multiphase materials, structured fluid-fluid interfaces can provide mechanical resistance against destabilization, applicable for conformance control, Pickering emulsion, liquid 3D printing and molding, etc. Currently all research prepare the particle-ladened fluid-fluid interfaces by dispersing ex situ acquired particles to the immiscible interface, which limits their application in the harsh environment, such as oil reservoir which can impair particle stability and transport ability. Here, we investigated the interfacial and assembly properties of the interface where SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) were in situ produced. The experimental results show that ammonia as catalyst could accelerate the processes of silica NPs formation as well as the interfacial tension (IFT) evolution. High temperature could not accelerate the reaction processes to achieve the lowest equilibrium IFT, but it induced the sine-wave IFT evolution curves regardless of the presence of ammonia. The equilibrium IFTs corresponded to the saturation states of interfaces trapping with SiO2 NPs, while the sine-wave fluctuating patterns of IFT were attributed to the alternating transition between interfacial jammed and unjammed states changing along with the reaction process. Silica NPs diffusing into aqueous phase with high salinity also showed good stability, due to the abundant surface decoration with in situ anchored organic species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34369-34380
Number of pages12
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number53
StatePublished - 29 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


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