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Condens. Matter 2018, 3(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat3030021

Microdrop Deposition Technique: Preparation and Characterization of Diluted Suspended Particulate Samples

1
Department of Mathematics and Physics, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
2
Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, 00044 Frascati, Italy
3
Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot OX11 0DE, UK
4
Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ambiente e della Terra, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza, 1-20126 Milano, Italy
5
Sezione di Milano-Bicocca, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Piazza della Scienza, 3-20126 Milano, Italy
6
Department of Physics, University of Trieste, Via A. Valerio 2, 34127 Trieste, Italy
7
Istituto Officina dei Materiali, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Basovizza SS-14, km 163.5, 34149 Trieste, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Condensed Matter Researches in Cryospheric Science)
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Abstract

The analysis of particulate matter (PM) in dilute solutions is an important target for environmental, geochemical, and biochemical research. Here, we show how microdrop technology may allow the control, through the evaporation of small droplets, of the deposition of insoluble materials dispersed in a solution on a well-defined area with a specific spatial pattern. Using this technology, the superficial density of the deposited solute can be accurately controlled. In particular, it becomes possible to deposit an extremely reduced amount of insoluble material, in the order of few μg on a confined area, thus allowing a relatively high superficial density to be reached within a limited time. In this work, we quantitatively compare the microdrop technique for the preparation of particulate matter samples with the classical filtering technique. After having been optimized, the microdrop technique allows obtaining a more homogeneous deposition and may limit the sample amount up to a factor 25. This method is potentially suitable for many novel applications in different scientific fields such as demanding spectroscopic studies looking at the mineral fraction contained in ice cores or to pollution investigations looking at the detection of heavy metals present in ultra-trace in water. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultra-dilution; droplets; water; evaporation; X-ray fluorescence ultra-dilution; droplets; water; evaporation; X-ray fluorescence
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Macis, S.; Cibin, G.; Maggi, V.; Baccolo, G.; Hampai, D.; Delmonte, B.; D’Elia, A.; Marcelli, A. Microdrop Deposition Technique: Preparation and Characterization of Diluted Suspended Particulate Samples. Condens. Matter 2018, 3, 21.

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