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Monte Carlo computer simulations and electron microscopy of colloidal cluster formation via emulsion droplet evaporation.

Schwarz, I, Fortini, A, Wagner, CS, Wittemann, A and Schmidt, M (2011) Monte Carlo computer simulations and electron microscopy of colloidal cluster formation via emulsion droplet evaporation. J Chem Phys, 135 (24).

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Abstract

We consider a theoretical model for a binary mixture of colloidal particles and spherical emulsion droplets. The hard sphere colloids interact via additional short-ranged attraction and long-ranged repulsion. The droplet-colloid interaction is an attractive well at the droplet surface, which induces the Pickering effect. The droplet-droplet interaction is a hard-core interaction. The droplets shrink in time, which models the evaporation of the dispersed (oil) phase, and we use Monte Carlo simulations for the dynamics. In the experiments, polystyrene particles were assembled using toluene droplets as templates. The arrangement of the particles on the surface of the droplets was analyzed with cryogenic field emission scanning electron microscopy. Before evaporation of the oil, the particle distribution on the droplet surface was found to be disordered in experiments, and the simulations reproduce this effect. After complete evaporation, ordered colloidal clusters are formed that are stable against thermal fluctuations. Both in the simulations and with field emission scanning electron microscopy, we find stable packings that range from doublets, triplets, and tetrahedra to complex polyhedra of colloids. The simulated cluster structures and size distribution agree well with the experimental results. We also simulate hierarchical assembly in a mixture of tetrahedral clusters and droplets, and find supercluster structures with morphologies that are more complex than those of clusters of single particles.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Schwarz, IUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Fortini, Aa.fortini@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, CSUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wittemann, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schmidt, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 28 December 2011
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3672106
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:16
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 15:10
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/838586

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