Ultrasonic preparation, stability and thermal conductivity of a capped copper - methanol nanofluid

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This paper describes a two-step method to prepare novel copper-methanol nanofluids capped with a short chain molecule, (3-Aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane (APTMS). Two commercial nanopowders were dispersed at various powers using a 20 kHz ultrasonic probe into solutions of methanol and the capping agent. Ultrasonic energy input was measured by calorimetry with z-average diameters, intensity and number size distributions recorded by a dynamic light scattering technique. The stability of the dispersion was monitored visually, and quantified by recording the zeta potential. Dispersions of the bare powder were used as a control. Absorption spectroscopy was used to confirm the presence of the capping agent. The thermal conductivities of 0 to 10% wt./vol. (1.1% vol.) dispersions of the capped copper-methanol nanofluid were determined using a C-Therm analyzer. Optimum ultrasonic de-agglomeration conditions gave dispersions with a z-average particle size of <200 nm and a PdI of <0.2. The capped particles showed good stability; up to six months in some instances, and an average zeta potential of +38 mV was recorded. The thermal conductivity of the nanofluid increased with concentration, and an enhancement of 9% over the base fluid was found at 10% wt./vol. (1.1% vol.). This innovative work has demonstrated the ultrasonic preparation and stability of copper nanoparticles protected with APTMS; a short chain molecule which binds to copper and prevents oxidation. The protected particles can enhance the thermal conductivity of methanol with no interference from the capping ligand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Early online date1 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, (In-press)
DOI: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2019.02.028

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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  • Copper nanoparticles
  • Methanol
  • Nanofluids
  • Nanorefrigerant
  • Particle size
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Thermofluids
  • Ultrasonic dispersion
  • Zeta potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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