By experimenting on model colloids where depletion forces can be carefully tuned and quantified, we show that attractive interactions consistently “promote” particle settling, so much that the sedimentation velocity of a moderately concentrated dispersion can even exceed its single-particle value. At larger particle volume fraction ϕ, however, hydrodynamic hindrance eventually takes over. Hence, v(ϕ) actually displays a nonmonotonic trend that may threaten the stability of the settling front to thermal perturbations. Finally, by discussing a representative case, we show that these results are relevant to the investigation of protein association effects by ultracentrifugation.

Colloidal Swarms Can Settle Faster than Isolated Particles: Enhanced Sedimentation near Phase Separation

LATTUADA, ENRICO;BUZZACCARO, STEFANO;PIAZZA, ROBERTO
2016

Abstract

By experimenting on model colloids where depletion forces can be carefully tuned and quantified, we show that attractive interactions consistently “promote” particle settling, so much that the sedimentation velocity of a moderately concentrated dispersion can even exceed its single-particle value. At larger particle volume fraction ϕ, however, hydrodynamic hindrance eventually takes over. Hence, v(ϕ) actually displays a nonmonotonic trend that may threaten the stability of the settling front to thermal perturbations. Finally, by discussing a representative case, we show that these results are relevant to the investigation of protein association effects by ultracentrifugation.
Physics and Astronomy (all)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/986153
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