Structural rearrangements that govern flow in colloidal glasses

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Peter Schall, David A. Weitz, Frans Spaepen Science 318, 1895 (2007)

Soft Matter Keywords

Colloid, Glass

Abstract

Soft Matter Example

Experiment

The authors created a glass out of silica spheres <math>1.5 \mu m</math> radius spheres. The spheres were collected on a coverslip by centrifrugation at a packing faction of 0.61, which is higher than needed to created a glass and at a height of <math>42 \mu m</math>. A water-dimethylsulfoxide-fluorescein mixture was used to index match the spheres and then to contrast the spheres against the solvent. Then with the top stabilized, the coverslip at the bottom is sheared at rates about <math>10^{-5}s^{-1}</math>. The authors then recorded 3 Dimensional stacks using confocal microscopy.

The stacks revealed how the colloidal glass rearranged over the course of 20 minutes. The authors find that the strain is oscillatory, which they attribute to brownian motion.