A. van Blaaderen
- Out-of-equilibrium processes in suspensions of oppositely charged colloids: Liquid-to-crystal nucleation and gel formation
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
We study the kinetics of the liquid-to-crystal transformation and of gel formation in colloidal suspensions of oppositely charged particles. We analyse, by means of both computer simulations and experiments, the evolution of a fluid quenched to a state point of the phase diagram where the most stable state is either a homogeneous crystalline solid or a solid phase in contact with a dilute gas. On the one hand, at high temperatures and high packing fractions, close to an ordered-solid/disordered-solid coexistence line, we find that the fluid-to-crystal pathway does not follow the minimum free energy route. On the other hand, a quench to a state point far from the ordered-crystal/disordered-crystal coexistence border is followed by a fluid-to-solid transition through the minimum free energy pathway. At low temperatures and packing fractions we observe that the system undergoes a gas-liquid spinodal decomposition that, at some point, arrests giving rise to a gel-like structure. Both our simulations and experiments suggest that increasing the interaction range favors crystallization over vitrification in gel-like structures.
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.