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The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 223, Issue 3, pp 591–608 | Cite as

Colloids as model systems for metals and alloys: a case study of crystallization

  • D.M. Herlach
Review
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Heterogenous Nucleation and Microstructure Formation: Steps Towards a System and Scale Bridging Understanding

Abstract

Metallic systems are widely used as materials in daily human life. Their properties depend very much on the production route. In order to improve the production process and even develop novel materials a detailed knowledge of all physical processes involved in crystallization is mandatory. Atomic systems like metals are characterized by very high relaxation rates, which make direct investigations of crystallization very difficult and in some cases impossible. In contrast, phase transitions in colloidal systems are very sluggish and colloidal suspensions are optically transparent. Therefore, colloidal systems are often discussed as model systems for metals. In the present work, we study the crystallization process of charged colloidal systems from the very beginning. Charged colloids offer the advantage that the interaction potential can be systematically tuned by a variation of the particle number density and the salt concentration. We apply light scattering and ultra-small angle x-ray scattering to investigate the formation of short-range order in the liquid state even far from equilibrium, crystal nucleation and crystal growth. The results are compared with equivalent studies on metallic systems.

Keywords

Interfacial Energy European Physical Journal Special Topic Nucleation Rate Colloidal Suspension Colloidal System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Materialphysik im Weltraum, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)KölnGermany

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