Probing simultaneously the volume and surface structure of nanospheres adsorbed at a solid-liquid interface by GISANS
CEA-CNRS, IRAMIS, Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
We demonstrate in this paper the possibilities offered by Grazing Incidence Small Angle Neutron Scattering (GISANS) for the study of solid/liquid interfaces. We present experimental results obtained by Specular Neutron Reflectivity (SNR) and GISANS on a model system made of silica nanospheres adsorbed on a silicon wafer by electrostatic interactions both at solid/air interface and solid/liquid interfaces. At the solid/liquid interface, we demonstrate that grazing incidence scattering enables to discriminate the surface and the bulk scattering. The surface structure factor derived from GISANS shows that the nanospheres are organized as a repulsive liquid system, with a surface fraction occupation consistent with values obtained by SNR. This original setup highlights a direct correlation between the structure of the silica nanospheres in solution and their organization on the surface: due to the strong electrostatic repulsions between spheres, their organization at the surface is close to the projection in 2D of the 3D organization of the nanospheres in solution.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2009