Volume 66, Number 1, April 2004
|125 - 131
|Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
|01 March 2004
Sedimentation and multi-phase equilibria in mixtures of platelets and ideal polymer
Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Debye Institute Utrecht University - Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 26 January 2004
The role of gravity in the phase behaviour of mixtures of hard colloidal plates without and with non-adsorbing ideal polymer is explored theoretically. By analyzing the (macroscopic) osmotic equilibrium conditions, we show that sedimentation of the colloidal platelets is significant on a height range of even a centimeter. Gravity enables the system to explore a large density range within the height of a test tube which may give rise to the simultaneous presence of multiple phases. As to plate-polymer mixtures, it is shown that sedimentation may lead to a four-phase equilibrium involving an isotropic gas and liquid phase, nematic and columnar phase. The phenomenon has been observed experimentally in systems of colloidal gibbsite platelets mixed with PDMS polymer.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 64.70.Md – Transitions in liquid crystals
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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