Colloidal aggregation with sedimentation: concentration effects
Centro de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, A. Postal 48-3, 62251, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México
2 Coordinación de Ingeniería Molecular, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Eje Lázaro Cárdenas 152, 07730, México, Distrito Federal, México
3 Departamento de Química Física y Matemática, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, 11800, Montevideo, Uruguay
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The results of computer models for colloidal aggregation, that consider both Brownian motion and gravitational drift experienced by the colloidal particles and clusters, are extended to include concentrations spanning three orders of magnitude. In previous publications and for a high colloidal concentration, it was obtained that the aggregation crosses over from diffusion-limited colloidal aggregation (DLCA) to another regime with a higher cluster fractal dimension and a speeding up followed by a slowing down of the aggregation rate. In the present work we show, as the concentration is decreased, that we can still cross over to a similar regime during the course of the aggregation, as long as the height of the sample is increased accordingly. Among the differences between the mentioned new regimes for a high and a low colloidal concentration, the cluster fractal dimension is higher for the high concentration case and lowers its value as the concentration is decreased, presumably reaching for low enough concentrations a fixed value above the DLCA value. It is also obtained the fractal dimension of the sediments, arising from the settling clusters that reach the bottom and continue a 2D-like diffusive motion and aggregation, on the floor of the container. For these clusters we now see two and sometimes three regimes, depending on concentration and sedimentation strength, with their corresponding fractal dimensions. The first two coming from the crossover already mentioned, that took place in the bulk of the sample before the cluster deposition, while the third arises from the two-dimensional aggregation on the floor of the container. For these bottom clusters we also obtain their dynamical behavior and aggregation rate.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004