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 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.065702 Abstract: We observed a two-step glass transition in monolayers of colloidal ellipsoids by video microscopy. The glass transition in the rotational degree of freedom was at a lower density than that in the translational degree of freedom. Between the two transitions, ellipsoids formed an orientational glass. Approaching the respective glass transitions, the rotational and translational fastest-moving particles in the supercooled liquid moved cooperatively and formed clusters with power-law size distributions. The mean cluster sizes diverge in power law as approaching the glass transitions. The clusters of translational and rotational fastest-moving ellipsoids formed mainly within pseudo-nematic domains, and around the domain boundaries, respectively.
 Thomas Palberg Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/26/33/333101 Abstract: Colloidal model systems allow studying crystallization kinetics under fairly ideal conditions with rather well characterized pair interactions and minimized external influences. In complementary approaches therefore experiment, analytic theory and simulation have been employed to study colloidal solidification in great detail. These studies were based on advanced optical methods, careful system characterization and sophisticated numerical methods. Both the effects of the type, strength and range of the pair-interaction between the colloidal particles and those of the colloid-specific polydispersity were addressed in a quantitative way. Key parameters of crystallization were derived and compared to those of metal systems. These systematic investigations significantly contributed to an enhanced understanding of the crystallization processes in general. Further, new fundamental questions have arisen and (partially) been solved over the last decade including e.g. a two step nucleation mechanism in homogeneous nucleation, choice of the crystallization pathway or the subtle interplay of boundary conditions in heterogeneous nucleation. On the other side, via the application of both gradients and external fields the competition between different nucleation and growth modes can be controlled and the resulting micro-structure be influenced. The present review attempts an account of the interesting developments occurred since the turn of the millennium and an identification of important novel trends with particular focus on experimental aspects.
 Physics , 2013, Abstract: The primary and secondary relaxation timescales of aging colloidal suspensions of Laponite are estimated from intensity autocorrelation functions obtained in dynamic light scattering (DLS) experiments. The dynamical slowing down of these relaxation processes are compared with observations in fragile supercooled liquids by establishing a one-to-one mapping between the waiting time since filtration of a Laponite suspension and the inverse of the temperature of a supercooled liquid that is rapidly quenched towards its glass transition temperature. New timescales, such as the Vogel time and the Kauzmann time, are extracted to describe the phenomenon of dynamical arrest in Laponite suspensions. In results that are strongly reminiscent of those extracted from supercooled liquids approaching their glass transitions, it is demonstrated that the Vogel time calculated for each Laponite concentration is approximately equal to the Kauzmann time, and that a strong coupling exists between the primary and secondary relaxation processes of aging Laponite suspensions. Furthermore, the experimental data presented here clearly demonstrates the self-similar nature of the aging dynamics of Laponite suspensions within a range of sample concentrations.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/58001 Abstract: We study colloidal particle dynamics of a model glass system using confocal and fluorescence microscopy as the sample evolves from a hard-sphere glass to a liquid with attractive interparticle interactions. The transition from hard-sphere glass to attractive liquid is induced by short-range depletion forces. The development of liquid-like structure is indicated by particle dynamics. We identify particles which exhibit substantial motional events and characterize the transition using the properties of these motional events. As samples enter the attractive liquid region, particle speed during these motional events increases by about one order of magnitude, and the particles move more cooperatively. Interestingly, colloidal particles in the attractive liquid phase do not exhibit significantly larger displacements than particles in the hard-sphere glass.
 Physics , 2002, Abstract: Colloidal suspensions are simple model systems for the study of phase transitions. Video microscopy is capable of directly imaging the structure and dynamics of colloidal suspensions in different phases. Recent results related to crystallization, glasses, and 2D systems complement and extend previous theoretical and experimental studies. Moreover, new techniques allow the details of interactions between individual colloidal particles to be carefully measured. Understanding these details will be crucial for designing novel colloidal phases and new materials, and for manipulating colloidal suspensions for industrial uses.
 Physics , 2005, DOI: 10.1063/1.2204459 Abstract: We study concentrated colloidal suspensions, a model system which has a glass transition. The non-equilibrium nature of the glassy state is most clearly highlighted by aging -- the dependence of the system's properties on the time elapsed since vitrification. Fast laser scanning confocal microscopy allows us to image a colloidal glass and track the particles in three dimensions. We analyze the static structure in terms of tetrahedral packing. We find that while the aging of the suspension clearly affects its dynamics, none of the geometrical quantities associated with tetrahedra change with age.
 Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1063/1.4794593 Abstract: We study bidisperse colloidal suspensions confined within glass microcapillary tubes to model the glass transition in confined cylindrical geometries. We use high speed three-dimensional confocal microscopy to observe particle motions for a wide range of volume fractions and tube radii. Holding volume fraction constant, we find that particles move slower in thinner tubes. The tube walls induce a gradient in particle mobility: particles move substantially slower near the walls. This suggests that the confinement-induced glassiness may be due to an interfacial effect.
 Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science (ACES) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/aces.2015.51008 Abstract: Industrially produced sodium water glasses were dried in climates with controlled temperature and humidity to transparent amorphous water containing sodium silicate materials. The water glasses had molar SiO2:Na2O ratios of 2.2, 3.3 and 3.9 and were dried up to 84 days at temperatures between 40°C and 95°C and water vapour pressures between 5 and 40 kPa. The materials approached final water concentrations which are equilibrium values and are controlled by the water vapour pressure of the atmosphere and the microstructure of the solids. The microstructure of the dried water glasses was characterized by atomic force microscopy. It has a nanosized substructure built up by the silicate colloids of the educts but deformed by capillary forces. In the final drying equilibrium, the water vapour pressure of the atmosphere in the drying cabinet is equal to the reduced vapour pressure of the capillary system built up by the silicate colloids. Their size scale can be explained by the deformation of colloidal aggregates due to capillary forces.
 Physics , 1996, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.55.3143 Abstract: Simple expressions are given for the Newtonian viscosity $\eta_N(\phi)$ as well as the viscoelastic behavior of the viscosity $\eta(\phi,\omega)$ of neutral monodisperse hard sphere colloidal suspensions as a function of volume fraction $\phi$ and frequency $\omega$ over the entire fluid range, i.e., for volume fractions $0 < \phi < 0.55$. These expressions are based on an approximate theory which considers the viscosity as composed as the sum of two relevant physical processes: $\eta (\phi,\omega) = \eta_{\infty}(\phi) + \eta_{cd}(\phi,\omega)$, where $\eta_{\infty}(\phi) = \eta_0 \chi(\phi)$ is the infinite frequency (or very short time) viscosity, with $\eta_0$ the solvent viscosity, $\chi(\phi)$ the equilibrium hard sphere radial distribution function at contact, and $\eta_{cd}(\phi,\omega)$ the contribution due to the diffusion of the colloidal particles out of cages formed by their neighbors, on the P\'{e}clet time scale $\tau_P$, the dominant physical process in concentrated colloidal suspensions. The Newtonian viscosity $\eta_N(\phi) = \eta(\phi,\omega = 0)$ agrees very well with the extensive experiments of Van der Werff et al and others. Also, the asymptotic behavior for large $\omega$ is of the form $\eta_{\infty}(\phi) + A(\phi)(\omega \tau_P)^{-1/2}$, in agreement with these experiments, but the theoretical coefficient $A(\phi)$ differs by a constant factor $2/\chi(\phi)$ from the exact coefficient, computed from the Green-Kubo formula for $\eta(\phi,\omega)$. This still enables us to predict for practical purposes the visco-elastic behavior of monodisperse spherical colloidal suspensions for all volume fractions by a simple time rescaling.
 Physics , 2015, Abstract: Interfacial undercooling is of significant importance on microscopic pattern formation in the solidification of colloidal suspensions. Two kinds of interfacial undercooling are supposed to be involved in freezing colloidal suspensions, i.e. solute constitutional supercooling (SCS) caused by additives in the solvent and particulate constitutional supercooling (PCS) caused by particles. However, quantitatively identification of the interfacial undercooling of freezing colloidal suspensions is still absent and it is still unknown which undercooling is dominant. The revealing of interfacial undercooling is closely related to the design of ice-templating porous materials. Based on quantitative experimental measurements, we show that the interfacial undercooling mainly comes from SCS caused by the additives in the solvent, while the PCS can be ignored. This finding implies that the PCS theory is not the fundamental physical mechanism for patterning in the solidification of colloidal suspensions. Instead, the patterns in ice-templating method can be controlled effectively by adjusting the additives.
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