Issue 15, 2023

Structuring colloidal gels via micro-bubble oscillations


Locally (re)structuring colloidal gels – micron-sized particles forming a connected network with arrested dynamics – can enable precise tuning of the micromechanical and -rheological properties of the system. A recent experimental study [B. Saint-Michel, G. Petekidis, and V. Garbin, Soft Matter, 2022, 18, 2092] showed that local ordering can be rapidly induced by acoustically modulating an embedded microbubble. Here, we perform Brownian dynamics simulations to understand the mechanical effect of an oscillating microbubble on the next-to-bubble structure of the embedding colloidal gel. Our simulations reveal hexagonal-close-packed structures over a range that is comparable to the amplitude of the oscillations. However, we were unable to reproduce the unexpectedly long-ranged modification of the gel structure – dozens of amplitudes – observed in experiment. This suggests including long-ranged effects, such as fluid flow, should be considered in future computational work.

Graphical abstract: Structuring colloidal gels via micro-bubble oscillations

Article information

Article type
04 Nov 2022
09 Mar 2023
First published
13 Mar 2023
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Soft Matter, 2023,19, 2771-2779

Structuring colloidal gels via micro-bubble oscillations

K. W. Torre and J. de Graaf, Soft Matter, 2023, 19, 2771 DOI: 10.1039/D2SM01450E

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