Comparing Mixing Quality of Nanosized Partcles by Environmentally Benign Mixing Techniques

James V. Scicolone and Rajesh Dave. New Jersey Center for Engineered Particulates, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102

Mixtures of nanoparticles and nanocomposites, manufactured using nanoparticles as building blocks, have unique properties owing to small particle/grain size, and large interface area between individual nano-sized constituents. These properties have a great potential to improve performance of drugs, biomaterials, catalysts, energetic materials etc. However, to fully employ this potential, nanoparticles should be mixed at nanoscale level, which is a difficult task because they tend to form aggregates on the order of microns. Therefore, a major challenge in utilizing nanoparticles is to achieve their mixing at nano-scale level.

The objective of this study is to explore the homogeneity of nanoparticle mixtures obtained using environmentally benign dry mixing techniques. The mixing techniques studied in this research are Magnetically Assisted Impaction Mixing (MAIM), Fluidized Bed Mixing, Supercritical Stirring and Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Suspensions (RESS). The characterization of the resulting nanoparticle mixtures were conducted using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS).