Shape-induced capillary interactions of colloidal particles


Nierop, E.A. van and Stijnman, M.A. and Hilgenfeldt, S. (2005) Shape-induced capillary interactions of colloidal particles. Europhysics Letters, 74 (4). pp. 671-677. ISSN 0295-5075

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Abstract:We show that near-spherical micrometer-sized colloidal particles at an interface of two fluids experience inter-particle forces merely as a consequence of their shape-induced capillary interaction. The interaction is strong even if the deviations from sphericity are on the nm-scale, and can hardly be avoided in experiment. For particles of 2 μm radius, a deformation of 20 nm can result in an attractive potential of 2kBT at a distance of 4 particle radii. Dynamical simulations of many particles confirm that the forces lead to aggregates of dendritic or hexagonal-lattice type. The latter pattern exhibits strong herringbone-phase orientational order.
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Copyright:© 2005 IOP Science
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