Supersaturated dispersions of rodlike viruses with added attraction

P. Holmqvist, M. Ratajczyk, G. Meier, H. H. Wensink, M. P. Lettinga
2009 Physical Review E  
The kinetics of isotropic-nematic (I-N) and nematic-isotropic (N-I) phase transitions in dispersions of rod-like fd-viruses are studied. Concentration quenches were applied using pressure jumps in combination with polarization microscopy, birefringence and turbidity measurements. The full biphasic region could be accessed, resulting in the construction of a first experimental analogue of the bifurcation diagram. The N-I spinodal points for dispersions of rods with varying concentrations of
more » ... tion agents (dextran) were obtained from orientation quenches, using cessation of shear flow in combination with small angle light scattering. We found that the location of the N-I spinodal point is independent of the attraction, which was confirmed by theoretical calculations. Surprisingly, the experiments showed that also the absolute induction time, the critical nucleus and the growth rate are insensitive of the attraction, when the concentration is scaled to the distance to the phase boundaries.
doi:10.1103/physreve.80.031402 pmid:19905111 fatcat:427dtmkerzevdkjvr3ssjxxyvi