The effects of shear and particle shape on the physical adsorption of polyvinyl pyrrolidone on carbon nanoparticles

MD Vo and DV Papavassiliou, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 27, 325709 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/27/32/325709

The effects of shear and particle shape on the physical adsorption of a polymer (polyvinyl pyrrolidone, PVP) on carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) were studied with dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) methods. It was found that the conformation of the polymer during adsorption and desorption from the nanoparticle can be classified into three possible types, i.e. adsorbed, shear-affected and separated, depending on the magnitude of the shear rate in the flow. Spherical and graphene sheet-shaped particles with adsorbed PVP were manipulated in a Couette flow to determine the threshold shear rates leading to changes in the polymer adsorption state. It was found that the polymer was stably adsorbed under higher shear conditions for graphene sheets. In addition, the end- to-end distance and the radius of gyration of the polymer adsorbate was clearly related to the adsorption state, as the polymer underwent a transition from adsorbed to the separated state when the shear rate increased. The critical shear rate at which the polymer desorbed from the surface could be useful in applications where nanoparticles can be used as a molecular delivery system. The physical adsorption and desorption of the same polymer molecules on a flat surface were also investigated. The desorption of the polymer from the flat surface occurred when the shearing force was stronger than the attraction between the PVP and the surface.

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