Interfacial colloidal sedimentation equilibrium. II. Closure-based density functional theory

Mingqing Lu, Michael A. Bevan, David M. Ford

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In Part I [R. E. Beckham and M. A. Bevan, J. Chem. Phys. 127, 164708 (2007)], results were presented for the sedimentation equilibrium of concentrated colloidal dispersions using confocal scanning laser microscopy experiments, Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, and a local density approximation perturbation theory. In this paper, we extended the modeling effort on those systems to include nonlocal density functional theory (DFT), which is capable of predicting the microstructure of the sediment at length scales comparable to the colloidal particle dimension. Specifically, we use a closure-based DFT formulation to predict interfacial colloidal sedimentation equilibrium density profiles. The colloid-colloid and colloid-surface interactions were modeled with DLVO screened electrostatic potentials using parameters taken directly from the experimental work. The DFT profiles were compared to the experimental and MC results from Part I. Good agreement was found for relatively dilute interfacial colloidal fluids, but agreement was less satisfactory as interfacial layering became more pronounced for conditions approaching the onset of interfacial crystallization. We also applied DFT in an inverse sense using the measured colloid density profile to extract the underlying colloid-surface potential; this can be thought of as a microscopic analog to the well-known procedure of using the macroscopic (coarse-grained) density profile to extract the osmotic equation of state. For the dilute interfacial fluid, the inverse DFT calculations reproduced the true colloid-surface potential to within 0.5kT at all elevations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164709
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2007


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