Volume 61, Number 5, March 2003
|Page(s)||702 - 707|
|Section||Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology|
|Published online||01 February 2003|
Nematic ordering vs. gelation in suspensions of charged platelets
Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Utrecht University Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 16 December 2002
We study aqueous suspensions of charged gibbsite platelets that show the isotropic (I) to nematic (N) phase transition. This is the first case where the I-N transition in a dispersion of charged colloidal platelets is not impeded by gelation since Langmuir's classic work on dispersions of clay particles more than sixty years ago (J. Chem. Phys., 6 (1938) 873). On increasing particle concentration, our dispersions subsequently show an isotropic, nematic and gel phase. We attribute the shift of the gelation boundary from below to above the I-N transition to the surface modification of the gibbsite platelets with aluminium polycations, which are known to enhance the stability of gibbsite colloids significantly.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 64.70.Md – Transitions in liquid crystals / 61.30.Eb – Experimental determinations of smectic, nematic, cholesteric, and other structures
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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