Phase separation in suspensions of repelling charged colloids

  • R. van Roij
  • J. P. Hansen
New In Colloid Science
Part of the Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science book series (PROGCOLLOID, volume 110)


We use the simplest possible density functional theory to show that the purely repulsive screened-Coulomb (or DLVO) interaction between charged colloidal particles is compatible with gas-liquid, gas-solid and solid-solid coexistence in colloidal suspensions of low ionic strength of about 10−6 moll−1. The cohesive energy of the condensed phase, which produces a Van der Waals loop in the total free energy, is shown to be provided by the attractions between each colloidal particle and “its own” cloud of counterions. This finding may (partially) resolve the ongoing debate on attractions between like-charged particles.

Key words

Van der Waals theory like-charge attraction DLVO-theory 


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. van Roij
    • 1
  • J. P. Hansen
    • 2
  1. 1.H.H. Wills Physics LaboratoryRoyal FortBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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