Gelation via ion exchange in discotic suspensions

Ya Wen Chang, Andres F. Mejia, Zhengdong Cheng, Xiaojun Di, Gregory B. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The phase behavior of charged disk suspensions displays a strong dependence on ionic strengths, as the interplay between excluded volume and electrostatic interactions determines the formation of glasses, gels, and liquid crystal states. The various ions in natural soil or brine, however, could present additional effects, especially considering that most platelet structures bear a momentous ion-exchange capacity. Here we observed how ion exchange modulates and controls the interaction between individual disks and leads to unconventional phase transitions from isotropic gel to nematic gel and finally to nematic liquid crystals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247802
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 15 2012


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