Monday, June 3, 2013

1305.7423 (Neil Y. Lin et al.)

Bi-axial shear of confined colloidal suspensions: the structure and
rheology of the vorticity-aligned string phase

Neil Y. Lin, Xiang Cheng, Itai Cohen
Using a novel bi-axial confocal rheoscope, we investigate the structure and rheology of sheared colloidal suspensions under confinement. Consistent with previous work [X. Cheng \textit{et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.}, 2011, 109, 63], we observe a vorticity-aligned string phase in moderate concentrated colloidal suspensions under uniaxial shear. Using bi-axial shear protocols, we directly manipulate the orientation and morphology of the string structures. Simultaneously, we measure the suspension rheology along both the flow and vorticity directions with a bi-axial force measurement device. Our results demonstrate that despite the highly anisotropic microstructure, the suspension viscosity remains isotropic and constant over the shear rates explored. These results suggest that hydrodynamic contributions dominate the suspension response. In addition they highlight the capabilities of bi-axial confocal rheoscopes for elucidating the relationship between microstructure and rheology in complex fluids.
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