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Issue 6, 2015
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Celebrating Soft Matter’s 10th Anniversary: Monitoring colloidal growth with holographic microscopy

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Abstract

Holographic video microscopy offers valuable and previously unavailable insights into the progress of colloidal synthesis by providing measurements of the size and refractive index of individual colloidal particles in the dispersion. These measurements are precise enough to track subtle changes in particles' properties and rapid enough for real-time process control. We demonstrate this technique by applying it to the synthesis of monodisperse samples of crosslinked polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) spheres. The measured time dependence of these spheres' most probable radius is consistent with the LaMer model for colloidal growth. The joint distribution of size and refractive index, however, also reveals a small proportion of undersize, lower-density spheres. Trends in the distribution's time evolution offer insights into their origin. Applied over longer time periods, holographic characterization also tracks how the newly-synthesized spheres age, and illuminates the aging mechanism.

Graphical abstract: Celebrating Soft Matter’s 10th Anniversary: Monitoring colloidal growth with holographic microscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Sep 2014, accepted on 03 Dec 2014 and first published on 08 Dec 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01979B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 1062-1066
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    Celebrating Soft Matter’s 10th Anniversary: Monitoring colloidal growth with holographic microscopy

    C. Wang, H. Shpaisman, A. D. Hollingsworth and D. G. Grier, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 1062
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01979B

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