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Issue 12, 2014
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Biaxial shear of confined colloidal hard spheres: the structure and rheology of the vorticity-aligned string phase

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Abstract

Using a novel biaxial confocal rheoscope, we investigate the flow of the shear induced vorticity aligned string phase [X. Cheng et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2011, 109, 63], which has a highly anisotropic microstructure. Using biaxial shear protocols we show that we have excellent control of the string phase anisotropic morphology. We choose a shear protocol that drives the system into the string phase. Subsequently, a biaxial force measurement device is used to determine the suspension rheology along both the flow and vorticity directions. We find no measurable dependence of the suspension stress response along the shear and vorticity directions due to the hydrodynamically induced string morphology. In particular, we find that the suspension's high frequency stress response is nearly identical along the two orthogonal directions. While we do observe an anisotropic stress response at lower shear frequencies associated with shear thinning, we show that this anisotropy is independent of the shear induced string structure. These results suggest that for the range of flows explored, Brownian and hydrodynamic contributions to the stress arising from the anisotropic suspension microstructure are sufficiently weak that they do not significantly contribute to the rheology. Collectively, this study presents a general and powerful approach for using biaxial confocal rheometry to elucidate the relationship between microstructure and rheology in complex fluids driven far-from-equilibrium.

Graphical abstract: Biaxial shear of confined colloidal hard spheres: the structure and rheology of the vorticity-aligned string phase

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Nov 2013, accepted on 13 Jan 2014 and first published on 14 Jan 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52880D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2014,10, 1969-1976
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    Biaxial shear of confined colloidal hard spheres: the structure and rheology of the vorticity-aligned string phase

    N. Y. C. Lin, X. Cheng and I. Cohen, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 1969
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52880D

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