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Langmuir. 2013 Feb 5;29(5):1379-87. doi: 10.1021/la3044768. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Structure and dynamics studies of concentrated micrometer-sized colloidal suspensions.

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1
Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, United States. fan.zhang@nist.gov

Abstract

We present an experimental study of the structural and dynamical properties of concentrated suspensions of different sized polystyrene microspheres dispersed in glycerol for volume fraction concentrations between 10% and 20%. The static structure, probed with ultrasmall-angle X-ray scattering, shows a behavior very similar to that of hard spheres. The equilibrium dynamics is probed with ultrasmall-angle X-ray scattering-X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, a new technique that overcomes the limits of visible light-scattering techniques imposed by multiple scattering and is suitable for studies of optically opaque materials containing micrometer-sized structures. We found that the intensity autocorrelation functions are better described by a stretched exponential function and microspheres in a concentrated suspension move collectively. We also found that the inverse of the effective diffusion coefficients displays a peak with respect to the scattering vector that resembles the peaks in the static structure factors, which indicates that a long-lived, low free-energy state exists. The relaxation time is approximately inversely related to scattering vector, a behavior consistent with models that describe the dynamics in terms of random, local structural arrangements in disordered media.

PMID:
23294392
DOI:
10.1021/la3044768
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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