Direct measurement of thermodynamic properties of colloidal hard spheres

R.P.A. Dullens, W.K. Kegel, D.G.A.L. Aarts

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Recently, we have shown how to measure thermodynamic properties of colloidal hard sphere suspensions by microscopy [Dullens et al. (2006) PNAS 103, 529]. Here, we give full experimental details on how to acquire three dimensional snapshots of a colloidal hard sphere suspension over a wide range of densities by means of confocal laser scanning microscopy. Furthermore, we elaborate on the analysis of the data sets, in which we measure the available volume to insert an additional sphere and the surface area of that volume. These geometrical properties are related to key thermodynamic quantities by statistical geometry. This enables us to measure in a direct and non-interfering way the pressure, the chemical potential and the free energy density of a hard sphere suspension, which are in good agreement with theoretical predictions.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalOil & gas science and technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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