Measurement and interpretation of particle-particle and particle-wall interactions in levitated colloidal ensembles. Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper reports measurements of particle-wall and particle-particle interactions in levitated colloidal ensembles using integrated total internal reflection microscopy (TIRM) and video microscopy (VM) techniques. In levitated colloidal ensembles with area fractions of phiA = 0.03-0.25, ensemble TIRM measured height distribution functions are used to interpret particle-wall interactions, and VM measured pair distribution functions are used to interpret particle-particle interactions using inverse Ornstein-Zernike (OZ) and three-dimensional inverse Monte Carlo (MC) analyses. An inconsistent finding is the observation of an anomalous long-range particle-particle attraction and recovery of the expected Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) particle-wall interactions for all concentrations examined. Because particle-wall and particle-particle potentials are expected to be consistent in several respects, the analytical and experimental methods employed in this investigation are examined for possible sources of error. Comparison of inverse OZ and three-dimensional inverse MC analyses are used to address uncertainties related to dimensionality, effects of particle concentration, and assumptions of the OZ theory and closure relations. The possible influence of charge heterogeneity and particle size polydispersity on measured distribution functions is discussed with regard to inconsistent particle-wall and particle-particle potentials. Ultimately, achieving a consistent understanding of particle-wall and particle-particle interactions in interfacial and confined colloidal systems is essential to numerous complex fluid and advanced material technologies.

published proceedings

  • Langmuir

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, H., Pangburn, T. O., Beckham, R. E., & Bevan, M. A.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Wu, Hung-Jen||Pangburn, Todd O||Beckham, Richard E||Bevan, Michael A

publication date

  • October 2005