Nanofluids are often proposed as advanced heat transfer fluids. In this work, using a one-step nanoemulsification method, we synthesize gallium, indium, and indium–bismuth nanofluids in poly-alpha-olefin (PAO). The size distributions of the resulting nanoparticles are analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the alloy nanoparticles indicates that their composition is the same as that of the bulk alloy. It was found that oleylamine stabilizes both gallium and indium particles in PAO, while oleic acid is effective for gallium particles only. The microscopic adsorption mechanism of surfactants on gallium and indium surfaces is investigated using density functional theory (DFT) to understand why oleylamine is effective for both metals while oleic acid is effective for gallium only.

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