Tangential forces between nontouching colloidal particles

Darrell Velegol, S. Catana, J. L. Anderson, S. Garoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


By measuring the orientation of colloidal doublets suspended in water under the opposing alignment forces of gravity and electrophoresis, we observed tangential forces between nontouching particles. We found a new phenomenon of time-dependent switching between “slipping” (no tangential force) and “sticking” (tangential forces producing rigid-body behavior of the doublet) for heterodoublets of silica/polystyrene. Tangential forces between particle surfaces across a fluid gap and their transient nature are important to the dynamics of colloidal suspensions and the evolution of floc morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1246
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this