Three-phase coexistence in colloidal rod-plate mixtures

Phillip Woolston, Jeroen S. Van Duijneveldt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
414 Downloads (Pure)


Aqueous suspensions of clay particles, such as montmorillonite (MMT) platelets and sepiolite (Sep) rods, tend to form gels at concentrations around 1 vol %. For Sep rods, adsorbing sodium polyacrylate to the surface allows for an isotropic-nematic phase separation to be seen instead. Here, MMT is added to such Sep suspensions, resulting in a complex phase behavior. Across a range of clay concentrations, separation into three phases is observed: a lower, nematic phase dominated by Sep rods, a MMT-rich middle layer, which is weakly birefringent and probably a gel, and a dilute top phase. Analysis of phase volumes suggests that the middle layer may contain as much as 6 vol % MMT. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9290-9295
Number of pages6
Issue number34
Early online date11 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


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