Faculté des sciences et de médecine

Relationship between rheology and structure of interpenetrating, deforming and compressing microgels

Conley, Gaurasundar M. ; Zhang, Chi ; Aebischer, Philippe ; Harden, James L. ; Scheffold, Frank

In: Nature Communications, 2019, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 2436

Thermosensitive microgels are widely studied hybrid systems combining properties of polymers and colloidal particles in a unique way. Due to their complex morphology, their interactions and packing, and consequentially the viscoelasticity of suspensions made from microgels, are still not fully understood, in particular under dense packing conditions. Here we study the frequency-dependent... Plus

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    Summary
    Thermosensitive microgels are widely studied hybrid systems combining properties of polymers and colloidal particles in a unique way. Due to their complex morphology, their interactions and packing, and consequentially the viscoelasticity of suspensions made from microgels, are still not fully understood, in particular under dense packing conditions. Here we study the frequency-dependent linear viscoelastic properties of dense suspensions of micron sized soft particles in conjunction with an analysis of the local particle structure and morphology based on superresolution microscopy. By identifying the dominating mechanisms that control the elastic and dissipative response, we can explain the rheology of these widely studied soft particle assemblies from the onset of elasticity deep into the overpacked regime. Interestingly, our results suggest that the friction between the microgels is reduced due to lubrification mediated by the polymer brush-like corona before the onset of interpenetration.