Well-defined colloidal model systems are of utmost importance in the study of colloidal dispersions. The chemical and physical properties of the colloidal model system can be tuned to suit experimental criteria, and so the synthesis and characterization of colloidal model systems plays a central role in our research. A wide range of techniques are available to synthesise colloidal particles with very specific properties.
In our laboratory, we use a variety of different materials and can access shapes beyond microspheres such as rods, needles, and spherical caps. We can control the interactions between colloidal particles using surface chemistry, and can make particles which are magnetic for use in experiments on driven systems, or fluorescently labeled to facilitate imaging. To characterise the particles, we use several techniques such as light scattering, various types of optical microscopy, and electron microscopy.
- Alfons van Blaaderen, Colloids get complex, Nature (News and Views) 439, 545 (2006)
- Roel P.A. Dullens, Colloidal hard spheres: Cooking and Looking, Soft Matter 2, 805 (2006)