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Soft Matter. 2014 Jun 21;10(23):4091-109. doi: 10.1039/c3sm53070a.

Capillary attraction induced collapse of colloidal monolayers at fluid interfaces.

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  • 1Institut für Angewandte Physik, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, Eberhard Karls Universität, 72076 Tübingen, Germany. johannes.bleibel@uni-tuebingen.de.


We investigate the evolution of a system of colloidal particles, trapped at a fluid interface and interacting via capillary attraction, as a function of the range of capillary interactions and temperature. We address the collapse of an initially homogeneous particle distribution and of a radially symmetric (disk-shaped) distribution of finite size, both theoretically by using a perturbative approach inspired by cosmological models and numerically by means of Brownian dynamics (BD) and dynamical density functional theory (DDFT). The results are summarized in a "dynamical phase diagram", describing a smooth crossover from a collective (gravitational-like) collapse to local (spinodal-like) clustering. In this crossover region, the evolution exhibits a peculiar shock wave behavior at the outer rim of the contracting, disk-shaped distribution.

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