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Overview: Colloids - From Model Atoms to Nanostructured Functional Materials

P. Schurtenberger
University of Fribourg, CH

Keywords:
colloid self-assembly, colloidal glasses and gels, nanocomposits

Abstract:
In this presentation I shall discuss some of the most important recent trends in colloid sciences and their potential implications for material and food sciences. Colloidal suspensions have frequently been used as ideal model systems to address fundamental issues in condensed matter physics such as liquid ordering, crystallization and glass formation. The analogies and differences between the phase diagrams of colloidal suspensions and atomic and molecular systems and the corresponding structural and dynamic properties of the various systems as a function of the interaction potential have been thoroughly investigated. Here I will give an introduction to the current state of understanding of the link between the (tunable) interaction potential and the equilibrium and non-equilibrium behavior of colloids. I will then point out the potential use of functionalized colloids and colloid-polymer mixtures in nanotechnological applications in areas such as photonics, delivery systems or nanocomposit materials.

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