255954 Effect of Charge Asymmetry and Charge Screening On Structure of Superlattices Formed by Oppositely Charged Colloidal Particles

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Ganeshprasad Pavaskar1, Siddharth Sharma1 and Sudeep Punnathanam2, (1)Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, (2)Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Colloidal suspensions made up of oppositely charged particles have been shown to self-assemble into substitutionally ordered superlattices. For a given colloidal suspension, the structure of the superlattice formed from self-assembly depends on its composition, charges on the particles, and charge screening. In this study we have computed the pressure-composition phase diagrams of colloidal suspensions made up of binary mixtures of equal sized and oppositely charged particles interacting via hard core Yukawa potential for varying values of charge screening and charge asymmetry. The systems are studied under conditions where the thermal energy is equal or greater in magnitude to the contact energy of the particles and the Debye screening length is smaller than the size of the particles. Our studies show that charge asymmetry has a significant effect on the ability of colloidal suspensions to form substitutionally ordered superlattices. Slight deviations of the charges from the stoichiometric ratio are found to drastically reduce the thermodynamic stability of substitutionally ordered superlattices. These studies also show that for equal-sized particles, there is an optimum amount of charge screening that favors the formation of substitutionally ordered superlattices.

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