Luis Portilla and Marcus Halik
We present a facile solution-based procedure for tailoring the surface properties of aluminum oxide nanoparticles (AlOx-NPs) by the formation of tunable core–shell systems with self-assembled monolayers. By employing chained molecules with a phosphonic acid anchor group and either hydrophobic or hydrophilic chains the surface properties of the nanoparticles change dramatically. So, the solubility can be tuned orthogonal from trifluorotoluene (CF3–C6H5) for hydrophobic shell to water (H2O) for hydrophilic functionalization respectively. Spray coated films of those functionalized nanoparticles exhibited superhydrophobic or superhydrophilic properties. The surface properties can be tuned smoothly by the formation of a mixed ligand monolayer from corresponding stoichiometric mixtures of the ligands. The core–shell nanoparticles were investigated by means of thermogravimetric analysis, TGA; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, FTIR; and static contact angle goniometry, SCA. The effect of different dipole moments of the SAM molecules in mixed shell nanoparticles to their stability in dispersions was studied by zeta potential measurements.