Title: Self-assembly and rheology of ellipsoidal particles at interfaces
Authors: Madivala, Basavaraj
Fransaer, Jan
Vermant, Jan # ×
Issue Date: Dec-2008
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Series Title: Langmuir vol:25 issue:5 pages:2718-2728
Abstract: Colloidal particles confined at liquid interfaces have important applications, for example in the stabilization of emulsions and foams. Also the self-assembly of particles at interfaces offers potential for novel applications and structured particle films. As the colloidal interactions of colloidal particles at interfaces differ from those in bulk, colloidal microstructures can be achieved at an interface which cannot be produced in bulk. In the present work the particle shape, surface charge and wetting properties are varied and the resulting self-assembly of particles at a fluid interface is studied. Model monodisperse micrometer sized ellipsoidal particles were prepared by a mechanical stretching method. These particles were chosen to be well-suited for investigation by optical microscopy. When deposited at an interface between two fluids, shape induced capillary interactions compete with the electrostatic repulsion. Changing the surface charge and the position at the interface can be used to manipulate the experimentally observed self-assembly process. The initial microstructure of charged ellipsoids at a decane-water interface consists of individual ellipsoids co-existing with linear chains of ellipsoids, connected at their tips. The aggregation behavior in these monolayers was investigated by optical microscopy combined with quantitative image analysis and a dominant tip-tip aggregation was observed. Microstructural information was quantified by calculating the pair-distribution and orientation-distribution functions, as a function of time. Compared to particles at an oil-water interface, particles of the same surface chemistry and charge at an air-water interface seem to have weaker electrostatic interactions and they also have a different equilibrium position at the interface. The latter leads to differences in the capillary forces. The subsequent change in the balance between electrostatic and capillary forces gave rise to very dense networks having as a typical building block ellipsoids connected at their tips in triangular or flower-like configuration. These networks were very stable and did not evolve in time. The resulting monolayers responded elastically and buckled under compression. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of these monolayers, as measured by surface shear rheology, showed that the monolayer of ellipsoids exhibit a substantial surface modulus even at low surface coverage and can be used to create more elastic monolayers compared to aggregate networks of spheres of the same size and surface properties.
ISSN: 0743-7463
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Soft Matter, Rheology and Technology Section
Chemical and Extractive Metallurgy Section (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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