The goal of this dissertation is to understand the synthesis, characterization, and integration of nanoparticles and nanoparticle-based devices by electric field-enhanced transport of nanoparticles. Chapter I describes the factors used for determining particle trajectories and found that electric fields provide the directional electrostatic force to overcome other non-directional influences on particle trajectories. This idea is widely applied in the nanoparticle classification, characterization, and assembly onto substrate surfaces as investigated in the following chapters.
Chapter 2 presents a new assembly method to position metal nanoparticles delivered from the gas phase onto surfaces using the electrostatic force generated by biased p-n junction patterned substrates. Aligned deposition patterns of metal nanoparticles were observed, and the patterning selectivity quantified. A simple model accounting for the generated electric field, and the electrostatic, van der Waals, and image forces was used to explain the observed results. Chapter 2.2 describes a data set for particle size resolved deposition, from which a Brownian dynamics model for the process can be evaluated. Brownian motion and fluid convection of nanoparticles, as well as the interactions between the charged nanoparticles and the patterned substrate, including electrostatic force, image force and van der Waals force, are accounted for in the simulation. Using both experiment and simulation the effects of the particle size, electric field intensity, and the convective flow on coverage selectivity have been investigated. Coverage selectivity is most sensitive to electric field, which is controlled by the applied reverse bias voltage across the p-n junction. A non-dimensional analysis of the competition between the electrostatic and diffusion force is found to provide a means to collapse a wide range of process operating conditions and an effective indicator or process performance. Directed assembly of size-selected nanoparticles has been applied in the study of nanoparticle enhanced fluorescence (NEF) bio-sensing devices.
Chapter 3 presents results of a systematic examination of funct onalized gold nanoparticles by electrospray-differential mobility analysis (ES-DMA). Formation of selfassembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkylthiol molecules and singly stranded DNA (ssDNA) on the Au-NP surface was detected from a change in particle mobility, which could be modeled to extract the surface packing density. A gas-phase temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) kinetic study of SAMs on the Au-NP found the data to be consistent with a second order Arrhenius based rate law, yielding an Arrhenius-factor of 1×1011s -1 and an activation energy ∼105 kJ/mol. This study suggests that the ES-DMA can be added to the tool set of characterization methods being employed and developed to study the structure and properties of coated nanoparticles.
Chapter 3.2 demonstrates this ES-DMA as a new method to investigate colloidal aggregation and the parameters that govern it. Nanoparticle suspensions were characterized by sampling a Au nanoparticle (Au-NP) colloidal solution via electrospray (ES), followed by differential ion-mobility analysis (DMA) to determine the mobility distribution, and thus the aggregate distribution. By sampling at various times, the degree of flocculation and the flocculation rate are determined and found to be inversely proportional to the ionic strength and proportional to the residence time. A stability ratio at different ionic strengths, the critical concentration, and surface potential or surface charge density of Au-NPs are obtained from these data. This method should be a generically useful tool to probe the early stages of colloidal aggregation.
Study of ES-DMA is extended to include the characterizations of a variety of materials. Biologically interested materials such as viruses and antibodies could also be characterized. These results show ES-DMA provides a general way to characterize the colloidal materials as well as aerosolized particles.