Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Recipe Book for Colloids

17.08.2015

New Study shows Correlation between Microscopic Structures and Macroscopic Properties

Researchers from Jülich have, together with colleagues from Austria, Italy, Colombia and the USA, developed a model system for so-called soft colloids. The model gives us a better understanding of correlations between the atomic structure of colloids and their perceptible material properties. These findings could lead to new approaches for the targeted development of innovative colloid materials. The results have just been published in the journal “Nanoscale”.


Using neutron scattering, researchers were able to study the structure of their samples. The size of the “rings” in the image can, for example, define the distance between two colloid particles.

Forschungszentrum Jülich

Colloids are nano- or micrometer-sized finely dispersed particles or droplets. Soft colloids are made up of flexible materials, for example, polymers, such as proteins and synthetic molecules. In nature, soft colloids are found in cells, for instance.

In industry, they are used among other things in food processing, cosmetics and emulsion paints or in oil production to achieve the necessary flow properties. In paint manufacture, for example, they ensure that products are easy to apply yet do not run off surfaces.

The model system developed by researchers from the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science is made up of water and block copolymers – thread-like molecules with both a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic component.

In water, the polymer threads arrange themselves in a star shape, with the hydrophilic ends pointing outwards, and the hydrophobic pointing inwards. If the hydrophilic component is large, only a few molecules will bundle themselves loosely together and their physical behaviour resembles that of threads. The bigger the hydrophobic component is, the more polymers will clump together and dense, hard spheres are formed.

Until now, there have always been separate physical models for threads and spheres, which would predict in each case whether the resulting solution would be liquid or glassy. Aided by their scientific investigations and, among other things, by neutron scattering experiments, the researchers have now succeeded in combining both models and have developed a comprehensive phase diagram which describes the material properties depending on the structure and concentration of the colloid – producing a recipe book for colloids, so to speak.

In effect, they found a connecting parameter which essentially decides whether the model colloid solution will be liquid or glassy: the so-called interaction length. This corresponds approximately to the radius in which the colloids can interact with each other, and depends among other things on how many molecules a colloid is composed of as well as the concentration strength of the colloids.

A special feature of the model colloids made these findings possible: their softness can be tuned very finely over a large area by altering the length ratio between the hydrophilic and hydrophobic components of the molecule threads. The fact that the basic ingredients always remain the same makes it simpler to distinguish fundamental correlations.

Original publication:
S. Gupta, M. Camargo, J. Stellbrink, J. Allgaier, A. Radulescu, P. Lindner, E. Zaccarelli, C. N. Likos and D. Richter: Dynamic Phase Diagram of Soft Nano Colloids. “Nanoscale”, 2015,
DOI: 10.1039/C5NR03702F

Contact:
Dr. Jörg Stellbrink
Institute of Complex Systems, Neutron Scattering Division (ICS-1 / JCNS-1)
Phone: +49-2461-61-6683
Email: j.stellbrink@fz-juelich.de

Press:
Angela Wenzik, Science Journalist, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Phone: +49-2461 61-6048
Email: a.wenzik@fz-juelich.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.fz-juelich.de/portal/EN/Press/PressReleases/_node.html Forschungszentrum Jülich - Press releases
http://www.fz-juelich.de/ics/ics-1/EN/Forschung/forschung_node.html Research at the division of Neutron Scattering (ICS-1/JCNS-1)

Annette Stettien | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Further information:
http://www.fz-juelich.de

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>