Removal of submicron particles from solid surfaces using surfactants

The removal of nano- or submicron particles from solid substrates is of considerable interest in a range of existing industries including cleaning of surfaces inside a spacecraft after evaporation of nanofluids. A method of nanoparticle removal using aqueous surfactant solutions is proposed. The surfactants' cleaning efficiency is investigated for all four combinations of hydrophilic (HL) and hydrophobic (HB) nanoparticles and surfaces, in order to find the most successful cleaning method in each combination. Carbon and silica nanoparticles deposited onto Teflon and glass surfaces were used. Cationic, anionic and non-ionic surfactants with a range of CMCs and HLBs were used in order to identify the best surfactant in each scenario.