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Issue 24, 2011
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Structural forces in soft matter systems: unique flocculation pathways between deformable droplets

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Abstract

Oscillatory structural forces caused by colloidal additives including micelles, microemulsion droplets and particles were explored between rigid and deformable interfaces using direct force measurements with the atomic force microscope. The observed oscillations from rigid surfaces become distorted when confinement occurs between deformable interfaces, giving rise to a force hysteresis between approaching and separating interfaces. Small-angle neutron scattering was used to determine the bulk structure of the colloidal additives, as a basis for comparison with their behaviour when confined in thin films. It is seen that confinement itself does not appear to significantly alter the structure of the colloidal additive when compared to the bulk; however, at small separations, interactions with the confining interfaces may become important. The combined approach uncovered an unique flocculation pathway that is available to deformable emulsion droplets, and that the strength of this flocculation can be tuned by changes in the size and concentration of the structuring colloid, the emulsion droplet size, and the ionic strength of the solution.

Graphical abstract: Structural forces in soft matter systems: unique flocculation pathways between deformable droplets

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Jul 2011, accepted on 12 Sep 2011 and first published on 14 Oct 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06326J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 11334-11344
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    Structural forces in soft matter systems: unique flocculation pathways between deformable droplets

    R. F. Tabor, H. Lockie, D. Y. C. Chan, F. Grieser, I. Grillo, K. J. Mutch and R. R. Dagastine, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 11334
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06326J

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