We report here a detailed characterization of the steps leading to the formation of a bidimensional gel at the air/water interface. The 2D geometry is peculiar in that it allows a continuous and controlled variation of the density of the system over a wide range. The evolution of the statistical properties of the structured network, as a function of the externally controlled density, is related to the corresponding evolution of the mechanical properties. We identified three steps in the gel formation: a first step occurs in the incubation time, in which the individual nm-sized gold nanoparticle aggregate to form quasi 1D structures of typical length of a few microns. The second step occurs in the first stages of the compression, with the growth of the branched structure, finally yielding to the onset of the infinite percolative cluster, which is related to the building of the mechanical elastic modulus. The final step identifies with the homogenization and regularization of the distribution of holes sizes, which relates to the further increase of the elastic modulus upon compression. We speculate that this study should help in the formulation of gels with desired characteristics, such as increased mechanical strength, or increased mobility

Statistical properties and morphology of a 2D gel network at the air/water interface

PUCCI, ANDREA;RUGGERI, GIACOMO;
2014

Abstract

We report here a detailed characterization of the steps leading to the formation of a bidimensional gel at the air/water interface. The 2D geometry is peculiar in that it allows a continuous and controlled variation of the density of the system over a wide range. The evolution of the statistical properties of the structured network, as a function of the externally controlled density, is related to the corresponding evolution of the mechanical properties. We identified three steps in the gel formation: a first step occurs in the incubation time, in which the individual nm-sized gold nanoparticle aggregate to form quasi 1D structures of typical length of a few microns. The second step occurs in the first stages of the compression, with the growth of the branched structure, finally yielding to the onset of the infinite percolative cluster, which is related to the building of the mechanical elastic modulus. The final step identifies with the homogenization and regularization of the distribution of holes sizes, which relates to the further increase of the elastic modulus upon compression. We speculate that this study should help in the formulation of gels with desired characteristics, such as increased mechanical strength, or increased mobility
D., Orsi; A., Vezzani; R., Burioni; Pucci, Andrea; Ruggeri, Giacomo; L., Cristofolini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/208451
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