Signatures of structural recovery in colloidal glasses

Xiaojun Di, K. Z. Win, Gregory B. McKenna, Tetsuharu Narita, François Lequeux, Srinivasa Rao Pullela, Zhengdong Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Colloids near the glass concentration are often taken as models for molecular glasses. Yet, an important aspect of the dynamics of molecular glasses, structural recovery, has not been elucidated in colloids. We take advantage of a thermosensitive colloidal suspension to study the structural recovery after concentration jumps by using diffusing wave spectroscopy. The three classical aging signatures observed in molecular glasses are studied and the results are compared with those typical of molecular glasses. For the intrinsic isotherms, unlike molecular glasses, the colloid shows huge changes in relaxation time at equilibrium while the times required to reach the equilibrium state are nearly constant. For asymmetry of approach, we find a similar nonlinearity to that observed in the molecular glasses. For the memory experiment, while a memory effect is seen, the response is qualitatively different from that in molecular glasses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 28 2011


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