Theoretical Investigation on the Steric Interaction in Colloidal Deposition

2012-10-30T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Shihong Lin Mark R. Wiesner
A theoretical investigation was conducted upon the steric interaction between a spherical particle and a flat plate. The effects of curvature on both the segment density distribution of polymer and on the steric interaction energy between a particle and a plate were examined. It was found that the conventional approach using Derjaguin approximation may overestimate the interaction energy, especially for very small particles. Based on the results obtained from applying the Flory–Krigbaum theory with the accurate geometry change during the interaction, simple approximate expressions of exponential form were proposed for both the osmotic (mixing) and elastic contributions to the steric interaction energy for a sphere-plate interaction. The proposed model was validated against a set of experimental results from a reported study employing atomic force microscopy. Also investigated was the steric interaction between a spherical particle coated with polymer and an uncoated flat surface. It was found that the steric interaction energy from the osmotic contribution is significantly higher than that from the elastic contribution and that steric interaction is considerably weaker when the polymer exists on only one of the interacting surfaces.