Colloidal self-assembly at an interface

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Edited by Qichao Hu

September 19th, 2010

reference: [1]

It has been well known that colloidal particles can form at the interfaces between liquids. This phenomenon can be used to self-assemble colloidal particles and ultimately to synthesize new materials.

The colloidal particles' ability to bind to liquid and stabilize emulsion is guided by the need to minimize interfacial energy. When a particle moves from a liquid to a liquid-liquid interface, the change in free energy is

<math>\Delta G=-\pi R^2\gamma_{OW} (1-\cos\theta_C)^2</math>

where <math>R</math> is the particle radius, <math>\gamma_{OW}</math> is the energy per unit area of the liquid-liquid interface, and <math>\theta_C</math> is the contact angle.