Colloidal particles: Crystals, glasses, and gels


Lu, P. J. ; Weitz, D. A. ; Langer, J. S. Colloidal particles: Crystals, glasses, and gels. In Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics, Vol 4; 2013; Vol. 4, pp. 217-233. Copy at
[PDF]3.7 MB


Colloidal particles are microscopic solid particles suspended in a fluid. Colloids are small enough that thermal energy drives their dynamics and ensures equilibration with the suspending fluid; they are also large enough that their positions and motions can be measured precisely using optical methods, such as light scattering and laser-scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy. Colloidal suspensions are a powerful model system for the study of other phenomena in condensed matter physics, where the collective phase behavior of the solid particles mimics that of other condensed systems. We review three classes of interacting colloidal particles, crystals, glasses, and gels, each of which represents fascinating properties of colloidal particles as well as a model for more general types of materials and their behavior.

Last updated on 08/08/2014