Using evanescent wave (EW)–based optical detection methods coupled with video microscopy, we investigated in situ trajectories, diffusion, and interaction energies of ∼140 nm ceria particles near a glass surface at pH 3, 5, and 7. Trajectories of a single ceria particle in a 2D (x–y) plane were obtained by linking its time-sequenced positions. Diffusion coefficients of several single ceria particles were calculated from their respective mean-square displacement (MSD) versus time curves, and the results were interpreted based on the interaction potential energy curves obtained from Boltzmann statistics of the EW scattering intensity fluctuations of the particles. The types and characteristics of particle motions were determined by analyzing the MSD curves. Whereas both confined or subdiffusive and Brownian motions of the particles were observed at pH 7, only confined motion was seen at pH 3 and 5, and their corresponding diffusion coefficients are similar to those reported by several authors.