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  1. Silica nanomaterials have been studied based on their potential applications in a variety of fields, including biomedicine and agriculture. A number of different molecules have been condensed onto silica nanoparticles’ surfaces to present the surface chemistry needed for a given application. Among those molecules, (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APS) is one of the most commonly applied silanes used for nanoparticle surface functionalization to achieve charge reversal as well as to enable cargo loading. However, the colloidal stability of APS-functionalized silica nanoparticles has not been thoroughly studied, which can be problematic when the high reactivity of amine groups is considered. In this study, four different types of silica nanoparticles with varied location of added APS have been prepared via a reverse micro emulsion process, and their colloidal stability and dissolution behavior have been investigated. Systematic characterization has been accomplished using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), silicomolybdic acid (SMA) spectrophotometric assay, nitrogen adsorption–desorption surface area measurement, and aerosol ion mobility-mass spectrometry to track the nanoparticles’ physical and chemical changes during dissolution. We find that when APS is on the interior of the silica nanoparticle, it facilitates dissolution, but when APS is condensed both on the interior and exterior, only the exterior siloxane bonds experience catalytic hydrolysis, and the interior dissolution is dramatically suppressed. The observation and analyses that silica nanoparticles show different hydrolysis behaviors dependent on the location of the functional group will be important in future design of silica nanoparticles for specific biomedical and agricultural applications. 
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  3. Abstract

    Aerosol deposition with gas phase‐synthesized chain‐like nanoaggregates can yield dense coatings from the impaction of particles on a substrate; however, dense coating formation is not well understood. Here, we study coating consolidation at the single nanoaggregate level. Flame spray pyrolysis‐made tin oxide nanoaggregates are mobility (size) filtered, accelerated through a de Laval nozzle, and impacted on alumina substrates. TEM images obtained from low velocity collection and supersonic deposition are compared via quantitative image analysis, which reveals that upon supersonic impact nanoaggregates fragment into smaller aggregates. This suggests that fragmentation is a key step in producing coatings denser than the depositing nanoaggregates themselves. We supplement experiments with detailed particle trajectory calculations, which show that the impact energies per atom during nanoaggregate deposition are below 0.2 eV/molecule. These results suggest that fragmentation can only occur at locations where nanoaggregates bonded by van der Waals and capillary interactions.

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