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Issue 7, 2009
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Direct observation of hydrodynamic instabilities in a driven non-uniform colloidal dispersion

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Abstract

A Rayleigh–Taylor-like instability of a dense colloidal layer under gravity in a capillary of microfluidic dimensions is considered. We access all relevant lengthscales with particle-level microscopy and computer simulations which incorporate long-range hydrodynamic interactions between the particles. By tuning the gravitational driving force, we reveal a mechanism whose growth is connected to the fluctuations of specific wavelengths, non-linear pattern formation and subsequent diffusion-dominated relaxation. Our linear stability theory captures the initial regime and thus predicts mixing conditions, with important implications for fields ranging from biology to nanotechnology.

Graphical abstract: Direct observation of hydrodynamic instabilities in a driven non-uniform colloidal dispersion

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Article information


Submitted
27 Nov 2008
Accepted
03 Feb 2009
First published
20 Feb 2009

Soft Matter, 2009,5, 1340-1344
Article type
Communication

Direct observation of hydrodynamic instabilities in a driven non-uniform colloidal dispersion

A. Wysocki, C. P. Royall, R. G. Winkler, G. Gompper, H. Tanaka, A. van Blaaderen and H. Löwen, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 1340
DOI: 10.1039/B821250C

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