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Rheology and Dynamics of a Solvent Segregation Driven Gel (SeedGel)



Yuyin Xi, Ryan Murphy, Qingteng Zhang, Aurora Zemborain, Suresh Narayanan, Junsu Chae, Siyoung Choi, Andrei Fluerasu, Lutz Wiegart, Yun Liu


Bicontinuous structures promise applications in a broad range of research fields, such as energy storage, membrane science, and biomaterials. Kinetically arrested spinodal decomposition is found responsible for stabilizing such structures in different types of materials. Recently, a newly developed solvent segregation driven gel (SeedGel) is demonstrated to realize bicontinuous channels in a thermally reversible and greatly tunable way. Here, the mechanical and dynamic properties of one model SeedGel system prepared with charged silica particles dispersed in water/ 2,6-lutidine are characterized with temperature-dependent rheology, small-angle neutron scattering, and X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. The storage modulus shows good thermo-reproducibility, and an intermediate temperature range (around 30 ˚C) is identified to achieve the largest storage modulus. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements are conducted at different temperatures and the macroscopic solvent phase separation is found to coincide with the gelation transition. The dynamics probed by X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (XPCS) are consistent with the temperature dependence of the storage modulus. The localization of nanoparticles is strongly correlated to the arrested dynamics of the domains. A slow, hyper-diffusive motion is observed in SeedGel at about 30 ˚C.
Soft Matter


XPCS, Colloidal Gel, Rheology, Dynamics


Xi, Y. , Murphy, R. , Zhang, Q. , Zemborain, A. , Narayanan, S. , Chae, J. , Choi, S. , Fluerasu, A. , Wiegart, L. and Liu, Y. (2023), Rheology and Dynamics of a Solvent Segregation Driven Gel (SeedGel), Soft Matter, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created January 4, 2023, Updated September 26, 2023