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Probing Diffusion of Single Nanoparticles at Water–Oil Interfaces



The diffusion of nanoparticles at a water–alkane interface is studied using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Hydrophilic and hydrophobic quantum dots of 5, 8, and 11 nm radius are used. A slow-down of nanoparticle diffusion at the liquid–liquid interface is observed. The effect is most evident when the viscosities of both liquid phases are similar, here, at the water–decane interface. In this case, the interfacial diffusion coefficients of the hydrophilic particles are 1.5 times and those of the hydrophobic particles 2 times lower than the corresponding bulk values.

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