Suspension state of a titanium nanoparticle in the liquid sodium was quantum chemically characterized by comparing physical characteristics, viz., electronic state, viscosity, and surface tension, with those of liquid sodium. The exterior titanium atoms on the topmost facet of the nanoparticle were found to constitute a stable Na-Ti layer, and the Brownian motion of a titanium nanoparticle could be seen in tandem with the surrounding sodium atoms. An electrochemical gradient due to the differences in electronegativity of both titanium and sodium causes electron flow from liquid sodium atoms to a titanium nanoparticle, Ti + Na → Tiδ- + Naδ+, making the exothermic reaction possible. In other words, the titanium nanoparticle takes a role as electron-reservoir by withdrawing free electrons from sodium atoms and makes liquid sodium electropositive. The remaining electrons in the liquid sodium still make Na-Na bonds and become more stabilized. With increasing size of the titanium nanoparticle, the deeper electrostatic potential, the steeper electric field, and the larger Debye atmosphere are created in the electric double layer shell. Owing to electropositive sodium-to-sodium electrostatic repulsion between the external shells, naked titanium nanoparticles cannot approach each other, thus preventing the agglomeration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry