Experimental investigation of nanoparticle dispersion by beads milling with centrifugal bead separation

Mitsugi Inkyo, Takashi Tahara, Toru Iwaki, Ferry Iskandar, Christopher J. Hogan, Kikuo Okuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


A new type of beads mill for dispersing nanoparticles into liquids has been developed. The bead mill utilizes centrifugation to separate beads from nanoparticle suspensions and allows for the use of small sized beads (i.e. 15-30 μm in diameter). The performance of the beads mill in dispersing a suspension of titanium dioxide nanoparticle with 15 nm primary particles was evaluated experimentally. Dynamic light scattering was used to measure titania particle size distributions over time during the milling process, and bead sizes in the 15-100 μm range were used. It was found that larger beads (50-100 μm) were not capable of fully dispersing nanoparticles, and particles reagglomerated after long milling times. Smaller beads (15-30 μm) were capable of dispersing nanoparticles, and a sharp peak around 15 nm in the titania size distribution was visible when smaller beads were used. Because nanoparticle collisions with smaller beads have lower impact energy, it was found by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy that changes in nanoparticle crystallinity and morphology are minimized when smaller beads are used. Furthermore, inductively-coupled plasma spectroscopy was used to determine the level of bead contamination in the nanoparticle suspension during milling, and it was found that smaller beads are less likely to fragment and contaminate nanoparticle suspensions. The new type of beads mill is capable of effectively dispersing nanoparticle suspensions and will be extremely useful in future nanoparticle research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Eishi Tanabe from Western Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Research Institute, for TEM measurements. C.J.H. acknowledges support from an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.


  • Agglomeration
  • Beads mill
  • Colloidal particles
  • Dispersing machine
  • Dispersing process
  • Media mill
  • Nanoparticles
  • Titania nanoparticles


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