American Chemical Society
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Parametric Study of Colloidal Particle Confinement near a Surface in the Presence of DLVO and Structural Interactions Using Brownian Dynamic Simulations

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-07, 21:23 authored by Avinash Ashok, Raymond R. Dagastine
Total internal reflection microscopy (TIRM) has become a crucial technique for understanding the surface interactions and dynamics of Brownian colloidal particles near a surface. However, for select colloidal systems, experimental limitations associated with TIRM can occlude exploration of nano- and submicrometer colloids dispersed in complex or structured fluids. It should be possible to use Brownian dynamic simulations to quantify, explore, or circumvent these limitations to extend the TIRM technique further. A Brownian dynamics algorithm based on the Langevin equation was utilized to identify favorable colloidal systems for conducting TIRM experiments in electrolyte and nonadsorbing polyelectrolyte solutions. In electrolyte solution, the motion of polystyrene and silica particles of nanometer- and micrometer-sized radii was simulated near a glass slide in the presence of retarded van der Waals and electric double-layer forces to develop potential energy profiles. In the case of nonadsorbing polyelectrolyte solutions, a structural force was also implemented into the simulation, and the influence of structural interactions on particle confinement was explored as a function of particle size, particle density, and polyelectrolyte concentration. In electrolyte solutions, our results were able to identify the minimum particle size required for TIRM experiments as well as insight into particle selection based on material density. For structural or oscillatory forces, our results show that prior to conducting TIRM experiments, Brownian dynamics simulation can be used to select the appropriate particle size, material, and polyelectrolyte concentration range where the colloidal particle can sample multiple structural energy wells without confinement. These results provide insight into the colloidal system suitable to experimentally study near-surface particle diffusion dynamics for a range of separations in the presence of structural interactions.