Microdisk fabrication by emulsion evaporation
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Colloidal suspensions of disk-like particles have been of interest in both colloidal and liquid crystal studies because they exhibit unique liquid crystalline phases different from those of rod-like molecules. Disk-like particles, such as asphaltenes in heavy oil industry, clay particles in agriculture, and red blood cells in biology, are of great interest in a variety of industries and scientific areas. However, to fabricate monodisperse microdisks, uniform in structure or composition with precise control of particle size and shape has not yet succeeded. In this thesis, we show an experimental strategy of using microfluidic technique to fabricate homogeneous ÃÂ±-eicosene microemulsions with chloroform in an aqueous solution of sodium dedecyl sulfate (SDS). The monodisperse chloroform emulsions, generated by the glass-based microfluidic devices, ensure the precise control on microdisk particle size and shape. A systematic investigation was performed to study the relation between the resulted microdisk size and the initial concentration of ÃÂ±-eicosene in chloroform before evaporation. The smectic liquid crystalline phase inside the wax particles controls the coin-like disk shape below the melting temperature of waxÃ¢ÂÂs rotator phase. The kinetics of the disk formation is observed using a polarized light microscope. Dynamic light scattering is used to characterize the Brownian motion of the microdisks, and the rotational diffusion is estimated from the image sequences taken by the charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. Effort has been put into collecting a large quantity of microdisks to investigate the discotic liquid crystalline phases, which can be readily probed by light scattering and microscope. In comparison, X-ray and neutron have to be used for the atomic liquid crystalline phase investigation.
Wong, Susanna Wing Man (2003). Microdisk fabrication by emulsion evaporation. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from