Deposition of titanium dioxide nanoparticles onto engineered rough surfaces with controlled heights and properties

Negin Kananizadeh, Jaewoong Li, Ehsan S. Mousavi, Keith B. Rodenhausen, Derek Sekora, Mathias Schubert, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Eva Schubert, Jianmin Zhang, Yusong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Understanding the influence of surface roughness on the deposition of nanoparticles is important to a variety of environmental and industrial processes. In this work, slanted columnar thin films (SCTFs) were engineered to serve as an analogue for rough surfaces with controlled height and surface properties. The deposition of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO 2 NPs) onto alumina- or silica-coated SCTFs (Al 2 O 3 -Si-SCTF, SiO 2 -Si-SCTF) with varying heights (50 nm, 100 nm, and 200 nm) was measured using a combined quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and generalized ellipsometry (GE) technique. No TiO 2 NP deposition was observed on flat, silica-coated QCM-D sensors or rough, 100 nm thick SiO 2 -Si-SCTF. TiO 2 NP deposition onto Al 2 O 3 -Si-SCTFs in ultra-pure water was significantly higher than on the flat alumina-coated QCM-D sensor, and deposition increased as the roughness height increased. The nanoparticle attachment was sensitive to the local flow field and the interaction energy between nanoparticles and the QCM-D sensor. At a higher ionic strength condition (100 mM NaCl), TiO 2 NP aggregates with varying sizes formed a rigid layer on top of SCTFs. For the first time, deposition of nanoparticles was measured as a function of roughness height, and the impact of roughness on the properties of the attached nanoparticle layers was revealed. This finding indicates that key parameters describing surface roughness should be explicitly included into models to accurately predict the transport of nanoparticles in the subsurface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
StatePublished - Jun 20 2019


  • Generalized ellipsometry
  • Nanoparticle deposition
  • Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation
  • Slanted columnar thin films
  • Surface roughness
  • Titanium dioxide nanoparticle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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