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Real space analysis of colloidal gels: triumphs, challenges and future directions

Royall, C. P., Faers, M. A., Fussell, S. L. and Hallett, J. E. ORCID: (2021) Real space analysis of colloidal gels: triumphs, challenges and future directions. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 33 (45). 453002. ISSN 1361-648X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1361-648X/ac04cb


Colloidal gels constitute an important class of materials found in many contexts and with a wide range of applications. Yet as matter far from equilibrium, gels exhibit a variety of time-dependent behaviours, which can be perplexing, such as an increase in strength prior to catastrophic failure. Remarkably, such complex phenomena are faithfully captured by an extremely simple model—'sticky spheres'. Here we review progress in our understanding of colloidal gels made through the use of real space analysis and particle resolved studies. We consider the challenges of obtaining a suitable experimental system where the refractive index and density of the colloidal particles is matched to that of the solvent. We review work to obtain a particle-level mechanism for rigidity in gels and the evolution of our understanding of time-dependent behaviour, from early-time aggregation to ageing, before considering the response of colloidal gels to deformation and then move on to more complex systems of anisotropic particles and mixtures. Finally we note some more exotic materials with similar properties.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:101361
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing


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