The phase separation behaviour and the viscoelastic properties of particles with non-adsorbing polymers: Part I - Experimental study
PublisherElseview Science B.V. www.elsevier.nl/locate/colsurfa
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A series of well characterised cis-polyisoprene polymers have been added to dispersions of PHS coated PMMA particles in dodecane. At a molecular weight of 8000 g mol−1 and above, these systems showed phase separation at low particle volume fractions and above a critical polymer concentration. The rate of separation has been shown to be influenced by the viscosity of the polymer. At high polymer and particle volume fractions long lived metastable phases occurred. Above a critical concentration these were viscoelastic indicating an appreciable change in diffusion dynamics with two relaxation processes present. A significant Bingham yield stress was also observed. The Asakura Oosawa potential was not able to describe the observed rheological properties. At a molecular weight of 1000 g mol−1 no phase separation was observed. At high particle concentrations the yield stress was found to reduce with the addition of polymer. This was due to the polymer acting as a ‘solvent’ and penetrating the stabilising layer on the particles.