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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Dec 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics