A large variety of engaging phenomena stems from the occurrence of short-ranged attractive depletion forces. Yet, so far, most experimental studies have been interpreted on the basis of the simple Asakura-Oosawa model, where the depletion agent can be regarded as ideal. Here, conversely, we focus on a system where strong electrostatic coupling is present in the suspension. Specifically, from measurements of equilibrium sedimentation profiles, we obtain an equation of states for a colloidal system where depletion forces are tuned by the addition of a surfactant. At fixed colloid volume fraction, colloidal aggregation takes place when the surfactant concentration reaches a critical value which rises for increasing ionic strength. Screening repulsive electrostatic interactions inhibits the depletion mechanism and weakens the effective colloid-colloid attraction. The metastable coexistence curve displays the universal scaling behavior predicted for short-ranged potentials. The experimental data are compared with the theoretical predictions of a simple model which includes only electrostatic interactions. The effective depletion force on the colloids is evaluated by using the hypernetted-chain equation of liquid state theory at different salt concentrations. This model provides a convincing interpretation of the observed enhancement of the depletion mechanism by Coulomb repulsion.

Enhancement of depletion forces by electrostatic depletant repulsion

BUZZACCARO, STEFANO;PIAZZA, ROBERTO;
2010

Abstract

A large variety of engaging phenomena stems from the occurrence of short-ranged attractive depletion forces. Yet, so far, most experimental studies have been interpreted on the basis of the simple Asakura-Oosawa model, where the depletion agent can be regarded as ideal. Here, conversely, we focus on a system where strong electrostatic coupling is present in the suspension. Specifically, from measurements of equilibrium sedimentation profiles, we obtain an equation of states for a colloidal system where depletion forces are tuned by the addition of a surfactant. At fixed colloid volume fraction, colloidal aggregation takes place when the surfactant concentration reaches a critical value which rises for increasing ionic strength. Screening repulsive electrostatic interactions inhibits the depletion mechanism and weakens the effective colloid-colloid attraction. The metastable coexistence curve displays the universal scaling behavior predicted for short-ranged potentials. The experimental data are compared with the theoretical predictions of a simple model which includes only electrostatic interactions. The effective depletion force on the colloids is evaluated by using the hypernetted-chain equation of liquid state theory at different salt concentrations. This model provides a convincing interpretation of the observed enhancement of the depletion mechanism by Coulomb repulsion.
ANGLE NEUTRON-SCATTERING; COLLOID-POLYMER MIXTURES; HARD-SPHERE MIXTURES; LIGHT-SCATTERING; PHASE-BEHAVIOR; ATTRACTIONS; SUSPENSIONS; SURFACTANT; PARTICLES; GELATION
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/572707
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