Volume 106, Number 6, June 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||24 June 2014|
Dynamics of colloidal aggregation in microgravity by critical Casimir forces
1 Department of Physics, University of Milan - via Celoria 16, I-20133 Milan, Italy
2 Unilever Research Vlaardingen - PO box 114, 3130 AC Vlaardingen, The Netherlands
3 Van der Waals Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam - Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4 CERN - Beam Instrumentation Group - 1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland
Received: 7 February 2014
Accepted: 4 June 2014
By combining static and dynamic structure factor measurements under microgravity conditions, we obtain for the first time direct insight into the internal structure of colloidal aggregates formed over a wide range of particle attractions under ideal diffusion-limited conditions. By means of near-field scattering we measure the time-dependent density-density correlation function as the aggregation process evolves, and we determine the ratio of the hydrodynamic and gyration radius to elucidate the aggregate's internal structure as a function of its fractal dimension. Surprisingly, we find that despite the large variation of particle interactions, the mass is always evenly distributed in all objects with fractal dimension ranging from 2.55 for shallow potentials to 1.78 for deep ones.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 64.75.Xc – Phase separation and segregation in colloidal systems / 61.43.Hv – Fractals; macroscopic aggregates (including diffusion-limited aggregates)
© EPLA, 2014
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