Non-DLVO silica interaction forces in NMP-water mixtures. I. A symmetric system

Jung Hyun Lee, Ismael Gomez, J. Carson Meredith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the success of DLVO theory, there exist numerous examples of interactions that do not follow its predictions. One prominent example is the interaction between hydrophilic surfaces in mixtures of water with another polar, associating solvent. Interactions of such surfaces are still poorly understood yet play a key role in a wide variety of processes in nature, biology, and industry. The interaction forces between a silica sphere and a glass plate in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)-water binary mixtures were measured using the AFM technique. The interactions in pure NMP and pure water agreed qualitatively with DLVO theory. In contrast, the addition of NMP to water drastically altered the interactions, which no longer followed DLVO predictions. An unusually strong, long-range (50-80 nm), multistepped attractive force was observed on the approach of hydrophilic surfaces in the NMP concentration range of 30-50 vol %, where the adhesive pull-off force was also maximized. The maximum attractive force was observed at an NMP concentration near 30 vol %, consistent with the formation of a strong hydrogen-bonded complex between NMP and water near the solid surface. The analysis of force profiles, zeta potentials, solution viscosity, and contact angles suggests that attraction arises from the bridging of surface-adsorbed macrocluster layers known to form on hydrophilic surfaces in mixtures of associating liquids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6897-6904
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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