Heterogeneous nucleation of colloidal crystals on a glass substrate with depletion attraction

Suxia Guo, Jun Nozawa, Sumeng Hu, Haruhiko Koizumi, Junpei Okada, Satoshi Uda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The heterogeneous nucleation of colloidal crystals with attractive interactions has been investigated via in situ observations. We have found two types of nucleation processes: a cluster that overcomes the critical size for nucleation with a monolayer, and a method that occurs with two layers. The Gibbs free energy changes (δG) for these two types of nucleation processes are evaluated by taking into account the effect of various interfacial energies. In contrast to homogeneous nucleation, the change in interfacial free energy, δσ, is generated for colloidal nucleation on a foreign substrate such as a cover glass in the present study. The δσ and step free energy of the first layer, γ1, are obtained experimentally based on the equation deduced from classical nucleation theory (CNT). It is concluded that the δG of q-2D nuclei is smaller than of monolayer nuclei, provided that the same number of particles are used, which explains the experimental result that the critical size in q-2D nuclei is smaller than that in monolayer nuclei.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10543-10549
Number of pages7
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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