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Colloidal Gels Assembled via a Temporary Interfacial Scaffold

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Original languageEnglish
Article number255502
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2009


The liquid-liquid phase separation of a binary solvent can be arrested by colloidal particles trapped at the interface [K. Stratford , Science 309, 2198 (2005)]. We show experimentally that the colloidal network so formed can remain stable after fully remixing the liquids, creating a new type of gel in which colloids in a single-phase solvent have locally planar coordination. We argue that this structure is likely maintained by primary-minimum Derjaguin-Landau-Verweg-Overbeek bonding of our charged colloids, created under strong compression by capillary forces. We present simulation evidence that the combination of a short-ranged attraction with a repulsive barrier can strongly stabilize such locally planar gels.

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