Solidification kinetics of hard-sphere colloidal suspensions

  • C. Sinn
  • A. Heymann
  • A. Stipp
  • T. Palberg
Conference paper
Part of the Progress in Colloid and Polymer Science book series (PROGCOLLOID, volume 118)


We investigate the solidification dynamics of hard-sphere colloidal suspensions applying simultaneously small-angle and Bragg light scattering. These experiments allow a consistent picture of nucleation and crystal growth on the level of large-scale density fluctuations and of density fluctuations on the level of individual crystallites. We observe a temporally almost constant nucleation rate after an induction time that decreases with supersaturation. The classical expectation for the nucleation rate density as a function of supersaturation is in accordance with our data. We investigate the validity of the Wilson—Frenkel growth law for hard-sphere systems, which also fits our data satisfactorily. The kinetic prefactors are found to be only 2 orders of magnitude smaller (for nucleation) and 1 order of magnitude larger (for crystal growth) than expected from classical considerations. We discuss the influences of particle size poly-dispersity on our data.

Key words

Colloidal suspensions Hard spheres Nucleation and growth Crystallization kinetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Sinn
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Heymann
    • 1
  • A. Stipp
    • 1
  • T. Palberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Physik der Johannes-Gutenberg-UniversitatMainzGermany
  2. 2.PMS Optik AE/PTFrankfurtGermany

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