Origin of de-swelling and dynamics of dense ionic microgel suspensions


Romeo, G. ; Imperiali, L. ; Kim, J. - W. ; Fernandez-Nieves, A. ; Weitz, D. A. Origin of de-swelling and dynamics of dense ionic microgel suspensions. Journal of Chemical Physics 2012, 136. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/lk6v8fa
[PDF]714 KB


A direct consequence of the finite compressibility of a swollen microgel is that it can shrink and deform in response to an external perturbation. As a result, concentrated suspensions of these particles exhibit relaxation dynamics and rheological properties which can be very different with respect to those of a hard sphere suspension or an emulsion. We study the reduction in size of ionic microgels in response to increasing number of particles to show that particle shrinkage originates primarily from steric compression, and that the effect of ion-induced de-swelling of the polymer network is negligible. With increasing particle concentration, the single particle dynamics switch from those typical of a liquid to those of a super-cooled liquid and finally to those of a glass. However, the transitions occur at volume fractions much higher than those characterizing a hard sphere system. In the supercooled state, the distribution of displacements is non-Gaussian and the dependence of the structural relaxation time on volume fraction is describable by a Volger-Fulcher-Tammann function. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3697762]

Last updated on 08/08/2014