Colloidal stabilization via nanoparticle halo formation

Jiwen Liu*, Erik Luijten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We present a detailed numerical study of effective interactions between micrometer-sized silica spheres, induced by highly charged zirconia nanoparticles. It is demonstrated that the effective interactions are consistent with a recently discovered mechanism for colloidal stabilization. In accordance with the experimental observations, small nanoparticle concentrations induce an effective repulsion that counteracts the intrinsic van der Waals attraction between the colloids and thus stabilizes the suspension. At higher nanoparticle concentrations an attractive potential is recovered, resulting in reentrant gelation. Monte Carlo simulations of this highly size-asymmetric mixture are made possible by means of a geometric cluster Monte Carlo algorithm. A comparison is made to results obtained from the Ornstein-Zernike equations with the hypernetted-chain closure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061401
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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