A method for altering the surface properties of a particle bed. In application, the method pertains particularly to an electrokinetic pump configuration where nanoparticles are bonded to the surface of the stationary phase to alter the surface properties of the stationary phase including the surface area and/or the zeta potential and thus improve the efficiency and operating range of these pumps. By functionalizing the nanoparticles to change the zeta potential the electrokinetic pump is rendered capable of operating with working fluids having pH values that can range from 2-10 generally and acidic working fluids in particular. For applications in which the pump is intended to handle highly acidic solutions latex nanoparticles that are quaternary amine functionalized can be used.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.