Local influence of boundary conditions on a confined supercooled colloidal liquid
Physics Dept., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
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Revised: 14 September 2010
Published online: 12 November 2010
We study confined colloidal suspensions as a model system which approximates the behavior of confined small molecule glass-formers. Dense colloidal suspensions become glassier when confined between parallel glass plates. We use confocal microscopy to study the motion of confined colloidal particles. In particular, we examine the influence particles stuck to the glass plates have on nearby free particles. Confinement appears to be the primary influence slowing free particle motion, and proximity to stuck particles causes a secondary reduction in the mobility of free particles. Overall, particle mobility is fairly constant across the width of the sample chamber, but a strong asymmetry in boundary conditions results in a slight gradient of particle mobility.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2010