Article | Published:

Metastable and unstable cellular solidification of colloidal suspensions

Nature Materials volume 8, pages 966972 (2009) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Colloidal particles are often seen as big atoms that can be directly observed in real space. They are therefore becoming increasingly important as model systems to study processes of interest in condensed-matter physics such as melting, freezing and glass transitions. The solidification of colloidal suspensions has long been a puzzling phenomenon with many unexplained features. Here, we demonstrate and rationalize the existence of instability and metastability domains in cellular solidification of colloidal suspensions, by direct in situ high-resolution X-ray radiography and tomography observations. We explain such interface instabilities by a partial Brownian diffusion of the particles leading to constitutional supercooling situations. Processing under unstable conditions leads to localized and global kinetic instabilities of the solid/liquid interface, affecting the crystal morphology and particle redistribution behaviour.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    et al. Aligned two- and three-dimensional structures by directional freezing of polymers and nanoparticles. Nature Mater. 4, 787–793 (2005).

  2. 2.

    & Phase inversion of particle-stabilized materials from foams to dry water. Nature Mater. 5, 865–869 (2006).

  3. 3.

    et al. Growth of ‘dizzy dendrites’ in a random field of foreign particles. Nature Mater. 2, 92–96 (2003).

  4. 4.

    Cryopreservation: Freezing and vitrification. Science 296, 655–656 (2002).

  5. 5.

    et al. Boosting migration of large particles by solute contrasts. Nature Mater. 7, 785–789 (2008).

  6. 6.

    Monolithic columns in high-performance liquid chromatography. J. Chromatogr. A 1168, 101–168 (2007).

  7. 7.

    et al. Understanding foods as soft materials. Nature Mater. 4, 729–740 (2005).

  8. 8.

    & Self-organization of sorted patterned ground. Science 299, 380–383 (2003).

  9. 9.

    & Mechanical interaction between ice crystals and red blood cells during directional solidification. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 858, 235–244 (1998).

  10. 10.

    et al. Freezing as a path to build complex composites. Science 311, 515–518 (2006).

  11. 11.

    Freeze-casting of porous ceramics: A review of current achievements and issues. Adv. Eng. Mater. 10, 155–169 (2008).

  12. 12.

    et al. Porous titanium (Ti) scaffolds by freezing TiH2/camphene slurries. Mater. Lett. 62, 4506–4508 (2008).

  13. 13.

    et al. Tough, bio-inspired hybrid materials. Science 322, 1516–1520 (2008).

  14. 14.

    et al. Conducting nanocomposite polymer foams from ice-crystal-templated assembly of mixtures of colloids. Adv. Mater. 21, 1–5 (2009).

  15. 15.

    Materials science: In praise of pores. Science 322, 381–383 (2008).

  16. 16.

    , & Solidification of colloidal suspensions. J. Fluid Mech. 554, 147–166 (2006).

  17. 17.

    , & Experimental verification of morphological instability in freezing aqueous colloidal suspensions. Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 238301–238304 (2008).

  18. 18.

    , & Morphological instability in freezing colloidal suspensions. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 463, 723–733 (2007).

  19. 19.

    et al. On the application of X-ray microtomography in the field of materials science. Adv. Eng. Mater. 3, 539–546 (2001).

  20. 20.

    & Solidification microstructure evolution in the presence of inert particles. Mater. Sci. Eng. A A147, 9–21 (1991).

  21. 21.

    , & Particle redistribution during dendritic solidification of particle suspensions. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 89, 2444–2447 (2006).

  22. 22.

    et al. Architectural control of freeze-cast ceramics through additives and templating. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 92, 1534–1539 (2009).

  23. 23.

    HST Program, available at <>.

  24. 24.

    , & Interaction between particles and a solid/liquid interface. J. Appl. Phys. 35, 2986–2992 (1964).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility for the provision of synchrotron radiation beam time and we would like to thank E. Boller and J.-P. Valade for their irreplaceable assistance in using beamline ID19. Financial support was provided by the National Research Agency (ANR), project NACRE in the non-thematic BLANC programme, reference BLAN07-2_192446.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratoire de Synthèse et Fonctionnalisation des Céramiques, UMR3080 CNRS/Saint-Gobain, 84306 Cavaillon, France

    • Sylvain Deville
    • , Guillaume Bernard-Granger
    • , Audrey Lasalle
    • , Jérôme Leloup
    •  & Christian Guizard
  2. Université de Lyon, INSA-Lyon, MATEIS CNRS UMR5510, 69100 Villeurbanne, France

    • Eric Maire
    • , Agnès Bogner
    •  & Catherine Gauthier

Authors

  1. Search for Sylvain Deville in:

  2. Search for Eric Maire in:

  3. Search for Guillaume Bernard-Granger in:

  4. Search for Audrey Lasalle in:

  5. Search for Agnès Bogner in:

  6. Search for Catherine Gauthier in:

  7. Search for Jérôme Leloup in:

  8. Search for Christian Guizard in:

Contributions

S.D. and Ch.G. designed the research project, S.D. and E.M. designed the experiments, S.D., E.M., A.L., J.L., Ca.G. and A.B. carried out the experiments, S.D. and G.B.-G. analysed the data, S.D., E.M. and G.B.-G. wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and implications and commented on the manuscript at all stages.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sylvain Deville.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Information

Videos

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Movie 1

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2571

Further reading