Chemcial Engineering Seminar
Convective deposition of nano- and microscale particles is used as a scalable nanomanufacturing platform to fabricate surface morphologies such as microlens arrays atop light emitting diodes (LEDs) and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) to considerably enhance the photon transport and various other energy, optical, and BioMEMS applications. The fundamental mechanism behind self-organization is attraction driven by the local capillary interactions of particles confined in a thin film of an advancing meniscus. We will highlight resulting morphology and various instabilities that occur during deposition of uni- and bimodal suspensions.
More generally, microstructure formation in sheared suspensions is key to understanding their rheological behavior. Thus far, limited experimental evidence is available to reveal the subtle details and dynamics of suspension microstructure. In this work, silica microsphere suspensions under pressure-driven flow are studied using dynamic confocal laser scanning microscopy. The pair distribution function, a measure of microstructure, is presented as a function of Péclet number, local volume fraction, and time in fully-developed and reversed flows. Suspensions of various pH values and electrolyte concentrations at flow cessation are also investigated out of an interest on the competition between hydrodynamic and electrostatic forces. These results capture the evolution of suspension microstructure as a consequence of changing shear field and of relaxation due to electrostatic repulsion upon flow cessation. Explanation for this evolution and its implication on suspension rheology is discussed.