Applicability of Dlvo Theory to the Formation of Ordered Arrays of Monodisperse Latex Particles

  • P. R. Krumrine
  • J. W. Vanderhoff


Monodisperse latexes often display irisdescent colors, particularly those subjected to dialysis, ion exchange, or serum replacement and those concentrated to high solids. These iridescent colors have been shown to result from Bragg reflection of light from successive planes of ordered latex particles. One hypothesis proposed to explain this ordering and the accompanying two-phase transition is the so-called Kirkwood-Alder transition, which proposes a two-phase system over a narrow free volume range as the volume is increased, starting from a close-packed system of spheres. This paper proposes another hypothesis based on DLVO electric double layer theory. Computer calculations based on the DLVO theory show that repulsive forces are still significant over all particle separation distances and electrolyte concentrations at which iridescence is observed. Therefore, a potential well of repulsion can be calculated where the steepness and height of the repulsive barrier can give an indication of the state of the system, even in a two-phase region. The potential well of repulsion has been calculated as a function of latex particle size and concentration, surface potential, and electrolyte concentration. The results of these calcultations are in accord with experimental observations of the phase boundaries between ordered, disordered and co-existing ordered-disordered regions; however, it is necessary to invoke the minimization of the entropy in the coexisting ordered-disordered state over that in the disordered state.


Electrolyte Concentration Latex Particle Interparticle Distance Polystyrene Latex Secondary Minimum 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. R. Krumrine
    • 1
  • J. W. Vanderhoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Emulsion Polymers InstituteLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA

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