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Reentrant phase behavior of nanoparticle solutions probed by small-angle scattering

Kumar, Sugam, Ray, Debes, Abbas, Sohrab, Saha, Debasish, Aswal, Vinod K., Kohlbrecher, Joachim
Current opinion in colloid & interface science 2019 v.42 pp. 17-32
additives, biochemical compounds, colloids, ionic strength, models, nanohybrids, nanoparticles, phase transition, polymers, temperature
The nanoparticles in solution represent a model system, where the well-established colloidal theories such as the Debye–Hückel theory and/or Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek theory can be implemented to predict the nanoparticle phase behavior. Recently, reentrant phase transitions in a wide range of colloids (e.g., inorganic and organic nanoparticles, polymers, and biomolecules) have been observed, which are not consistent with these theories. The colloids in the reentrant phase behavior undergo a phase change and return back to the original phase with respect to a specific physiochemical parameter (e.g., ionic strength, concentration of different additives, temperature, and so on). The nanoparticle–polymer/multivalent ion systems, demonstrating such phase transition and the corresponding phase behavior in terms of interparticle interactions, have been probed by small-angle scattering. It has been shown how the tuning in interparticle interactions using external parameters can lead to reentrant phase behavior and use the nanoparticle aggregation for building nanohybrids. The deviations of the present observations from those of the standard colloidal theories and the anticipated challenges are also discussed.