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When Like Charges Attract: Interactions and Dynamics in Charge-Stabilized Colloidal Suspensions

David G. Grier


Measured pair interactions among highly charged colloidal spheres dispersed in simple electrolytes yield several surprises. Isolated pairs of like-charged spheres are found to repel each other, much as predicted by conventional theory. The same spheres, however, can develop a strong and long-ranged attraction for each other when confined either by charged glass walls, or by neighboring spheres. Such like-charge attractions are inconsistent with the mean field theory for macroionic interactions. These and other experimental observations further constrain recently proposed extensions to the mean field theory.

David G. Grier