Method for Dispersion of Bare Nanoparticles in Nonpolar Solvents


Researchers from the University of Calgary, in association with Canada Excellence Research Chair in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs, have invented the Artificial Double Layer (ADL) method, a new facile method for dispersing bare nanoparticles in nonpolar solvents with low dielectric constant. The dispersion of bare nanoparticles in nonpolar solvents requires an energy- and chemical-intensive surface functionalization process balancing interparticle attraction and particle-solvent interaction, resulting in the lack of economic feasibility for current processes. The ADL method can be applied to any solvent and involves the use of ion pairs which enhance the dispersibility of bare nanoparticles on the target nonpolar solvent. The method has been tested through the direct addition of the nanoparticles and ionic liquid stabilizer to the nonpolar organic solvent, resulting in the achievement of long-term stability of the dispersion of bare nanoparticles. Many adaptations and modifications may be made within the scope of this technology.



  • Water-in-oil emulsions
  • Nonaqueous foams
  • Dispersion of graphene oxides
  • Liquid immersion development (LID)
  • Electrostatic lithography
  • Drop-on-demand ink jet
  • Photoelectrophoresis
  • Electrophoretic displays
  • Electrophoretic displays



  • Circumvents the drawbacks of current methods that require energy-intensive chemical reactions and recycling of several organic solvents.
  • More feasible for scale up processes – does not require complex chemical reactions such as esterification and amidization for covalently bonding or purification.
  • Does not require solvent transfer or heat.
  • The range of this technology can be expanded to various platforms and areas of application.