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Nanoparticle Dispersion
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Proven Nanoparticle Dispersion Technology

Qsonica Nanoparticle Dispersion

High shear forces created by ultrasonic cavitation have the ability to break up particle agglomerates and result in smaller and more uniform particles sizes. The stable and homogenous suspensions produced by ultrasonics are widely used in many industries today. Probe sonication is highly effective for processing nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes, graphene, inks, metal oxides, etc.) and Sonicators have become the industry standard for:

  • Dispersing
  • Deagglomerating
  • Particle size reduction
  • Particle synthesis and precipitation
  • Surface functionalization

Probe Sonicators Outperform Ultrasonic Cleaner Baths for Nanoparticle Dispersion

Probe sonication is significantly more powerful and effective when compared to ultrasonic cleaner baths for nanoparticle applications. A cleaner bath requires hours to accomplish what a probe Sonicator can do in minutes. Sonicators can create a stable dispersion that can remain in suspension for many months as evidenced in this article excerpt:

Solubility of MWCNTs in Aqueous Solution

Dispersions in vials (a) have coagulated carbon nanotubes in the body and at the bottom by means of bath sonication for 8 hours, (b) appear free-homogenous with probe sonication for 3 minutes, and (c) keep free-homogenous even after 4 months of sitting at room temperature. The concentration of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) is 2500 mg/L and the Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs)/SDS ration is 1:10. (d) Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) of (c) was diluted to 25 mg/L with deionized water.

It is clear that Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) are not completely soluble in water by using bath Sonicator for 8 hours; there was much sedimentation of MWCNTs at the bottom of a small bottle (Fig. a). Upon operating 20 kHz applied by a probe Sonicator, the MWCNTs are entirely dispersive in aqueous solution, forming a homogeneous-free solution (Fig. b). Remarkably, there is no sedimentation observed even after four months of sitting at room temperature (Fig. c).

Sonicators Effectively Disperse Many Types of Particles

Sonicators Effectively Disperse Many Types of Particles

The image on the left, taken from the article "Stability of metal oxide nanoparticles in aqueous solutions" from the journal Water Science & Technology, shows slow reaggregation of three metal oxide nanoparticles following Sonication. Per the authors: "These results indicate that ultrasonication can effectively disperse NPs in water." The study tested several dispersion methods, and found that "ultrasonication was found to be the most effective for disaggregating nanoparticles in water."

Note that reaggregation time for any substance will depend greatly on its chemistry.


Nanotechnology Publications and Protocols

Disperse CNT Q500
Disperse CNT Q500
Scalable Production of Iron Oxide
Scalable Production of Iron Oxide
Graphene via Sonication
Graphene via Sonication
PLGA Nanoparticles
PLGA Nanoparticles
Stability of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles
Stability of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles
SW Carbon Nanotube - Epoxy Composites
SW Carbon Nanotube - Epoxy Composites

Nanoparticle Dispersion Publications and Protocols



Scalable Production of Iron Oxide Nanowhiskers
Macher, et. al., Journal of Nanomaterials, 2015; Article ID 376579


Characterization of Nanofibrillated Cellulose Produced From Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fibers (OPEFB) Using Ultrasound
Rosazley, R. et. al., Journal of Contemporary Issues and Thought, Vol. 6, 2016 (pp 28-35)

Effect of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on Mechanical Properties of Concrete
Qissab, M. A., Abbas, S. T.;  Al-Nahrain University, et. al., College of Engineering Journal (NUCEJ) Vol.91 No.2, 2016 pp.194 – 201

Pristine Graphene Aerogels by Room-Temperature Freeze Gelation
Lin, Y. et al., CarbonAdvanced Materials, Vol. 28, July 2016 (pp 7993–8000)

Chirality dependent corona phase molecular recognition of DNA-wrapped carbon nanotubes
Daniel P. Salem, et. al., Carbon 97 (2016) 147-153

In Vitro Enhancement of Mouse T Helper 2 Cell Sensitization to Ovalbumin Allergen by Carbon Black Nanoparticles
Lefebvre, et. al., Toxicological Sciences 2014; doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfu010

Enhanced Evaporation Strength through Fast Water Permeation in Graphene-Oxide Deposition
Tong, W.L. et. al., Scientific Reports, 5, 11896; DOI: 10.1038/srep11896; June 2015

Nanostructured lipid system as a strategy to improve the anti-Candida albicans Activity of Astronium sp.
Bonifacio et. al., International Journal of Nanomedicine 2015: 10; 5081-5092

Mechanically Sintered Gallium-Indium Nanoparticles
Boley et. al., Advanced Materials 2015, 27, 2355-2360

Self-assembled 2D WSe2 thin films for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production
Yu et. al., Nature Communications 2015, 6:7596, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8596

Manufacturing and Shear Response Characterization of Carbon Nanofiber Modified CFRP Using the Out-of-Autoclave-Vacuum-Bag-Only Cure Process
McDonald et. al., The Scientific World Journal, Vol. 2014, Article ID 830295,

PLGA Nanoparticles Formed by Single- or Double-emulsion with Vitamin E-TPGS
McCall et. al., Journal of Visualized Experiments, Dec. 2013, Issue 82, doi:10.3791/51015

Solvothermal Synthesis of Hierarchical Eu2O3 Nanostructures Templated by PS-b-PMAA: Morphology Control via Simple Variation of Water Content
Xiao et. al., Journal of Materials Chemistry, 2015

Gelsolin Amyliodogenesis Is Effectively Modulated by Curcumin and Emetine Conjugated PLGA Nanoparticles
Srivastava, et. al., PLOS ONE, 2015;  DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0127011

Nanofibrillated Cellulose (NFC): A High-Value Co-Product that improves the Economics of Cellulosic Ethanol Production
Song, Energies, Volume 7, 607-618, February 2014

Preparation and Characterization of Carbon Nanofluids by Using a Revised Water-Assisted Synthesis Method
Teng, Journal of Nanomaterials, Volume 2013, Article ID 582304, September 2013


Miscanthus Giganteus: A commercially viable sustainable source of cellulose nanocrystals
Elvis Cudjoe, et. al., Carbohydrate Polymers 155 (2017) 230-241

Liquid exfoliated Graphene: A Practical Method for Increasing Loading and Producing Thin Films
Petro, et. al., 2016, ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, 5 (2) P36-P40

Comparison of nanowire pellicles for plasma membrane enrichment: coating nanowires on cell
Kim, J Nanopart Res. 2013 December 1; 15(12): 2133–.doi:10.1007/s11051-013-2133-0

Structural and Optical Properties of Smooth Surface TCO Thin Films Deposited on Different-Sized Staked Nanoparticle Layers for Window Electrode of Thin Film Si Solar Cells
Miura, Materials Transactions, The Japan Institute of Metals and Materials October 2014, [doi:10.2320/matertrans.M2014208]


Anatase Titanium Dioxide Coated Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes Manufactured by Sonochemical-Hydrothermal Technique
Clemens, Open Journal of Composite Materials, Volume 3, 21-32, April 2013

Discontinued Models (e.g. S-4000, S-3000)

Graphene via Sonication assisted liquid-phase exfoliation
Ciesielski et. al., Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 381-398

Aggregation State of Fullerene Nanoparticles: Implications for Reactivity, Transport, and Microbial Toxicity
Chae, Chemeca 2011: Engineering a Better World: Sydney \Hilton Hotel, NSW, Australia, 18-21 September 2011. Barton, A.C.T.: Engineers Australia, 2011: [209]-[218]

Arrays of single-walled carbon nanotubes with full surface coverage for high-performance electronics
Cao, Nature Nanotechnology, Volume 8, 180-186, March 2013

Processsing and property investigation of single-walled carbon Nanotubes (SWNT) buckypaper/epoxy resin matrix nanocomposites
Wang, Composites: Part A, Volume 35, 1225-1232, September 2003

Combining Portable Raman Probes with Nanotubes for Theranostic Applications
Bhirde, Theranostics 2011, I: 310-321, July 2011

Natural bioadhesive biodegradeable nanoparticles-based topical Ophthalmic formulations for sustained celecoxib release: In vitro Study
Jablonski, Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology & Drug Research ISSN 2050-120X, 2-7, 2013

Particle Size and Temperature Effect on the Physical Stability of PLGA Nanospheres and Microspheres Containing Biodipy
De, AAPS PharmSciTech, Volume 5, Issue 4, Article 53, September 2004

Nanoscale infiltration behavior and through-thickness permeability Of carbon nanotube buckypapers
Wang, Nanotechnology, Volume 24, 1-11, December 2012

Polybenzoxazine-core shell rubber-carbon nanotube nanocomposites
Yang, Composites: Part A, Volume 39, 1653-1659, July 2008

Production of Nanocrystalline Cellulose from Sugarcane Bagasse
Maddahy, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Nanostructures (ICNS4), March 2012, Kish Island, I.R. Iran, 87-89

Silver Nanoparticles Compromise Neurodevelopment in PC12 Cells: Critical Contributions of Silver Ion, Particle Size, Coating and Composition
Powers, Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 119, Number 1, 37-44, January 2011

Stability of metal oxide nanoparticles in aqueous solutions
Tso, Water Science & Technology (2010), Volume 61, Issue 1, 127-133

Toughening in Graphene Ceramic Composites
Walker, ACS Nano, Volume 5, No. 4, 3182-3190, 2011

Surface coating of multi-walled carbon nanotube nanopaper on shape-memory polymer for multifunctionalization
Lu, Composites Science and Technology, Volume 71, 1427-1434, May 2011

Tips & Info for Nanoparticle Dispersion

  • Higher amplitudes and longer run times will break down aggregated nanoparticles into smaller particle sizes.
  • Be sure to use an appropriately sized probe. Smaller probes have higher amplitudes which can help create smaller nanoparticle sizes, but will be insufficient to effectively process larger volumes. Do not use a larger probe than necessary, nor a smaller probe than the volume calls for.
  • Smaller particle sizes will generally have longer residence time in suspension.
  • Smaller particle sizes will generally have longer residence time in suspension.
  • The duration which your particles will remain aggregated also depends on their chemistry with the solvent and other compounds present.
  • To prevent sedimentation or reaggregation for periods of time not achievable by dispersion alone, it may be necessary to use a surfactant or other stabilizing agent.
  • For general best practices, see Best Practices for Ultrasonic Homogenization.

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT Nanoparticle Dispersion?

Contact Us
Contact an Expert Contact an Expert >
Let us help you select the appropriate Sonicator model and accessory for your application. Call us at 203.426.0101 or
fill out a Contact Form.