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Colloidal particle aggregation in three dimensions

Journal article
Authors H. Habel
Aila Särkkä
Mats Rudemo
Charlotte Hamngren Blomqvist
E. Olsson
M. Nordin
Published in Journal of Microscopy
Volume 275
Issue 3
Pages 149-158
ISSN 0022-2720
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 149-158
Language en
Keywords Colloidal aggregation, Gibbs point process, Potential function, Spatial cluster analysis, Silica nanoparticle gel, interaction potentials, likelihood inference, brownian-motion, silica, diffusion, transition, field, simulations, stability, model, Microscopy
Subject categories Physical Sciences


Colloidal systems are of importance not only for everyday products, but also for the development of new advanced materials. In many applications, it is crucial to understand and control colloidal interaction. In this paper, we study colloidal particle aggregation of silica nanoparticles, where the data are given in a three-dimensional micrograph obtained by high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy tomography. We investigate whether dynamic models for particle aggregation, namely the diffusion limited cluster aggregation and the reaction limited cluster aggregation models, can be used to construct structures present in the scanning transmission electron microscopy data. We compare the experimentally obtained silica aggregate to the simulated postaggregated structures obtained by the dynamic models. In addition, we fit static Gibbs point process models, which are commonly used models for point patterns with interactions, to the silica data. We were able to simulate structures similar to the silica structures by using Gibbs point process models. By fitting Gibbs models to the simulated cluster aggregation patterns, we saw that a smaller probability of aggregation would be needed to construct structures similar to the observed silica particle structure.

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