Critical Casimir Forces in Colloidal Suspensions
- Cite this article as:
- Schlesener, F., Hanke, A. & Dietrich, S. Journal of Statistical Physics (2003) 110: 981. doi:10.1023/A:1022184508016
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Some time ago, Fisher and de Gennes pointed out that long-ranged correlations in a fluid close to its critical point Tc cause distinct effective forces between immersed colloidal particles which can even lead to flocculation [C. R. Acad. Sc. Paris B287:207 (1978)]. Here we calculate such forces between pairs of spherical particles as function of both relevant thermodynamic variables, i.e., the reduced temperature t=(T−Tc)/Tc and the field h conjugate to the order parameter. This provides the basis for specific predictions concerning the phase behavior of a suspension of colloidal particles in a near-critical solvent.