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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2001 Sep 3;92(1-3):73-132.

Acoustic and electroacoustic spectroscopy for characterizing concentrated dispersions and emulsions.

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  • 1dispensi@dispension.com


We describe two different techniques (acoustics and electroacoustics), both of which employ ultrasound instead of light for extracting information about the properties of liquid-based dispersions. Ultrasound can propagate through samples that are not transparent for light, which open up many new applications not possible with classical light scattering methods. Acoustic and electroacoustic techniques offer a unique opportunity to characterize concentrated dispersion, emulsions and microemulsions in their natural states. Elimination of a dilution step required for most other techniques (light scattering, sedimentation, electrophoresis) is crucial for an adequate characterization of liquid dispersions, especially when the high concentration leads to structured systems. As with any macroscopic method, ultrasonic techniques characterize the sample in two steps. The first step is to measure some macroscopic property. The second step involves some theoretical treatment of the measured raw data which yields the desired information. Acoustic spectroscopy deals with measuring the attenuation of ultrasound within a certain frequency range. Electroacoustic spectroscopy has two implementations depending on the driving force. We emphasize here on the so-called Colloid Vibration Current (CVI) which is generated by the sound wave as it passes through the dispersion. A review of the theoretical basis of acoustics and electroacoustics is given, with emphasis on models that have been applied to concentrated systems. Recently, new theories have been developed for both acoustics and electroacoustics using a 'coupled phase model' and 'cell model concept'. The coupled phase model is widely used for describing a relative motion of the particles and liquid in the sound wave. The cell model approach opens the way to include both particle-particle interactions and polydispersity into the theoretical model. Experimental evidence is presented that shows that this new approach is successful in concentrated systems up to 45% vol. A short review of the possible applications of acoustics and electroacoustics measurements to a range of systems is presented including: ceramics, mixed dispersed systems, chemical-mechanical polishing abrasives, emulsions, microemulsions and latex materials.

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