Charged hydrophobic colloids at an oil-aqueous phase interface

Colm P. Kelleher, Anna Wang, Guillermo Iván Guerrero-García, Andrew D. Hollingsworth, Rodrigo E. Guerra, Bhaskar Jyoti Krishnatreya, David G. Grier, Vinothan N. Manoharan, Paul M. Chaikin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Hydrophobic poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) colloidal particles, when dispersed in oil with a relatively high dielectric constant, can become highly charged. In the presence of an interface with a conducting aqueous phase, image-charge effects lead to strong binding of colloidal particles to the interface, even though the particles are wetted very little by the aqueous phase. We study both the behavior of individual colloidal particles as they approach the interface and the interactions between particles that are already interfacially bound. We demonstrate that using particles which are minimally wetted by the aqueous phase allows us to isolate and study those interactions which are due solely to charging of the particle surface in oil. Finally, we show that these interactions can be understood by a simple image-charge model in which the particle charge q is the sole fitting parameter.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number062306
    JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 14 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
    • Statistics and Probability
    • Condensed Matter Physics


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