Colloidal particle aggregation in three dimensions
Journal article, 2019

Colloidal systems are of importance not only for everyday products, but also for the development of new advanced materials. In many applications, it is crucial to understand and control colloidal interaction. In this paper, we study colloidal particle aggregation of silica nanoparticles, where the data are given in a three-dimensional micrograph obtained by high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy tomography. We investigate whether dynamic models for particle aggregation, namely the diffusion limited cluster aggregation and the reaction limited cluster aggregation models, can be used to construct structures present in the scanning transmission electron microscopy data. We compare the experimentally obtained silica aggregate to the simulated postaggregated structures obtained by the dynamic models. In addition, we fit static Gibbs point process models, which are commonly used models for point patterns with interactions, to the silica data. We were able to simulate structures similar to the silica structures by using Gibbs point process models. By fitting Gibbs models to the simulated cluster aggregation patterns, we saw that a smaller probability of aggregation would be needed to construct structures similar to the observed silica particle structure.

Colloidal aggregation

Potential function

Gibbs point process

Spatial cluster analysis

Silica nanoparticle gel


Henrike Häbel

Karolinska Institutet

SuMo Biomaterials

Aila Särkkä

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

SuMo Biomaterials

Mats Rudemo

SuMo Biomaterials

Chalmers, Mathematical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Charlotte Hamngren Blomqvist

SuMo Biomaterials

University of Gothenburg

Eva Olsson

SuMo Biomaterials

Chalmers, Physics, Eva Olsson Group

Matias Nordin

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

SuMo Biomaterials

Journal of Microscopy

0022-2720 (ISSN) 1365-2818 (eISSN)

Vol. 275 3 149-158

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry




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