11 September 2006 Linear and nonlinear microrheology of dense colloidal suspensions
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The length and time scales accessible to optical tweezers make them an ideal tool for the examination of colloidal systems. Embedded high-refractive-index tracer particles in an index-matched hard sphere suspension provide 'handles' within the system to investigate the mechanical behaviour. Passive observations of the motion of a single probe particle give information about the linear response behaviour of the system, which can be linked to the macroscopic frequency-dependent viscous and elastic moduli of the suspension. Separate 'dragging' experiments allow observation of a sample's nonlinear response to an applied stress on a particle-by particle basis. Optical force measurements have given new data about the dynamics of phase transitions and particle interactions; an example in this study is the transition from liquid-like to solid-like behaviour, and the emergence of a yield stress and other effects attributable to nearest-neighbour caging effects. The forces needed to break such cages and the frequency of these cage breaking events are investigated in detail for systems close to the glass transition.
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Laurence Wilson, Laurence Wilson, Rut Besseling, Rut Besseling, Jochen Arlt, Jochen Arlt, Wilson C. K. Poon, Wilson C. K. Poon, "Linear and nonlinear microrheology of dense colloidal suspensions", Proc. SPIE 6326, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation III, 63261P (11 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681569; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.681569

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