Edinburgh Research Explorer

Arrest of fluid demixing by nanoparticles: A computer simulation study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6549-6556
Number of pages8
JournalLangmuir
Volume24
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008

Abstract

We use lattice Boltzmann simulations to investigate the formation of arrested structures upon demixing of a binary solvent containing neutrally wetting colloidal particles. Previous simulations for symmetric fluid quenches pointed to the formation of "bijels": bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels. These should be created when a glassy monolayer of particles forms at the fluid-fluid interface, arresting further demixing and rigidifying the structure. Experimental work has broadly confirmed this scenario, but it shows that bijels can also be formed in volumetrically asymmetric quenches. Here, we present new simulation results for such quenches, compare these to the symmetric case, and find a crossover to an arrested droplet phase at strong asymmetry. We then make extensive new analyses of the postarrest dynamics in our simulated bijel and droplet structures, on time scales comparable to the Brownian time for colloid motion. Our results suggest that, on these intermediate time scales, the effective activation barrier to ejection of particles from the fluid-fluid interface is smaller by at least 2 orders of magnitude than the corresponding barrier for an isolated particle on a flat interface.

    Research areas

  • LATTICE-BOLTZMANN, SPINODAL DECOMPOSITION, COLLOIDAL PARTICLES, EMULSIONS, BINARY, INTERFACES, MIXTURES, BUBBLES

ID: 1188950