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Small-angle neutron scattering study of natural aquatic nanocolloids

Jarvie, Helen P.; King, Stephen M.. 2007 Small-angle neutron scattering study of natural aquatic nanocolloids. Environmental Science & Technology, 41 (8). 2868-2873. 10.1021/es061912p

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Abstract/Summary

We examine the potential of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) as a quantitative tool for studying nanostructure and length scales in natural freshwater aquatic colloidal dispersions (river water, river bed sediments, agricultural field drainage and slurry). Our results show that natural aquatic colloids are generally fractal with 3D network-type structures. None of these structures are consistent with diffusion-limited (DLCA) or reaction-limited (RLCA) particle-particle aggregation processes. The results also suggest three characteristic length scales: one ca. 3-10 nm, which we identify with "primary particle" sizes, another of ca. 20-50 nm suggestive of small aggregates, and the last ca. 50-200 nm which we postulate arises from transient networks of the aggregates. The role of organic matter in mediating colloid structure in aquatic dispersions was examined by neutron contrast variation and by measuring samples both before and after treatment with hydrogen peroxide. The results suggest that the aggregate network structure is mediated by organic matter.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1021/es061912p
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
CEH Sections: Acreman
ISSN: 0013-936X
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Hydrology
Date made live: 31 Jan 2008 12:56
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2265

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