Colloidal Particles: Crystals, Glasses, and Gels

TitleColloidal Particles: Crystals, Glasses, and Gels, Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics 4, 9.1-9.17
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLu, Peter J., and David A. Weitz
Date Published04/2012

Colloidal particles are microscopic solid particles suspended in a fluid. Colloids are small enough that thermal energy drives their dynamics and ensures equilibration with the suspending fluid and are also large enough that their positions and motions can be measured precisely using optical methods, such as light scattering and laser-scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy. Colloidal suspensions are a powerful model system for the study of other phenomena in condensed matter physics, where the collective phase behavior of the solid particles mimics that of other condensed systems. We review three classes of interacting colloidal particles, crystals, glasses, and gels, each of which represents fascinating properties of colloidal particles as well as a model for more general types of materials and their behavior.

Short TitleAnnu. Rev. Condens. Matter Phys.
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Peter J. Lu  |  Harvard University  |  Cambridge, MA 02138 USA |