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Diss Factsheets

Administrative data

nanomaterial Zeta potential
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
January 2013
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
test procedure in accordance with generally accepted scientific standards and described in sufficient detail

Data source

Reference Type:
study report
Report date:

Materials and methods

Test guideline
according to guideline
other: Colloidal Dynamics Zeta Probe with auto titrator
Version / remarks:
The Colloidal Dynamics Zeta Probe instrument uses an acoustic method to determine zeta potential and can tolerate a variety of dispersions in terms of concentration, clarity and particle size, provided they are liquid or flowing during measurement. Strongly gelled systems cannot be measured. The instrument is fitted with an auto titrator to automatically perform zeta vs. pH sweeps and also allows the possibility of titrating with any other additive in solution form. Sample sizes range from a minimum of 30 mL to 300 mL maximum. The instrument was also supplied with a jacketed vessel for variable temperature experiments.
not applicable
Principles of method if other than guideline:
There is no guideline for this test
GLP compliance:
Other quality assurance:
other: ISO9001
Type of method:
other: acoustic
Details on methods and data evaluation:
The stability of colloidal dispersions can be determined by the measurement of the zeta potential at the surface of the particles in an aqueous or organic solvent. Zeta potentials > +/- 30 mV indicate stable dispersions of colloidal particles that are repelling each other whereas between +/- 30 mV indicates instability/attraction. The iso-electric point (IEP) is the pH at which zeta potential = 0 mV. The Colloidal Dynamics Zeta Probe instrument uses an acoustic method to determine zeta potential and can tolerate a variety of dispersions in terms of concentration, clarity and particle size, provided they are liquid or flowing during measurement.

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
Silicic acid, lithium magnesium sodium salt
EC Number:
EC Name:
Silicic acid, lithium magnesium sodium salt
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
magnesium(2+) lithium(1+) sodium bis(oxosilanebis(olate))
Specific details on test material used for the study:
Identification: Laponite Type 2 – silicic acid, lithium sodium magnesium salt, CAS#53320-86-8, EC#258-476-2

Description: White powder

Batch Number 09-3286-2 (Type 2)

Date Manufactured: Type 2 - 27th October 2009

Data gathering

• Colloidal Dynamics Zeta Probe with auto titrator
• Overhead mixer i.e. Heidolph fitted with Cowels blade
• Other high-shear mixers e.g. Silverson, Dispermat.
The instrument was calibrated as required by the manufacturer.
Three samples of the same batch were analysed. The results gave better than 0.5% deviation from the mean value

Results and discussion

Zeta potential
Key result
Zeta potential:
ca. -61 mV
St. dev.:
0.1 mV
The test material was prepared at 0.5%w/w (dried weight) concentration in demineralised water (conductivity of <2μS/cm confirmed).
The dispersion was mixed for 1 hour using an overhead stirrer with a cowles blade attachment. The dispersion is referred to as the stock dispersion.
The stock dispersion was analysed for its zeta potential and its zeta potential over a range of pH’s (pH 4-12) after 24 hours hydration.
For the purpose of this work a one litre sample of the stock dispersion was prepared, sufficient sample for each preparation and analysis.
The stock dispersion was allowed to hydrate in a 25°C incubator for 24 hours. Subsequently, 250g of the Laponite® dispersion is analysed with a single point zeta potential using the methodology detailed by the manufacturer for this instrument.
The substance would be in nano form after this preparation method.

Any other information on results incl. tables


Laponite T2 09-3286-2

Target pH

pH measured

Zeta potential (mV)




























Applicant's summary and conclusion

The results show that in a 0.5%w/w (dry weight) dispersion, Type 2 Laponite® is stable in a solution of demineralised water owing to its zeta potential of -61.0 mV at its natural pH of 9.65. Changing the pH of the system decreases the zeta potential in the acid direction, presumably neutralising a portion of the negatively charged faces. The pH was not lowered past pH 4 due to the dissociation of Laponite® previously reported. Increasing from the natural pH of the dispersion, the zeta potential appears to decrease, potentially due to the increased Na+ cations brought in by the addition of base which can cause instability through partial gelation.
In conclusion, the results confirm that Laponite® and Type 2 is a stable colloidal dispersions at 0.5%w/w (dry weight). The negative zeta potentials at the naturalpH show that the clay particles are negatively charged as would be expected.
An isoelectric point was not reached by changing the pH. This is due to the major contribution of the overall particle surface charge made by the negative faces of the clay platelets which dominate any effects from the addition of acid or base.