Hydrodynamic origin for the suspension viscoelasticity of rough colloids

Shravan Pradeep, Alan Wessel, Lilian C Hsiao, Journal of Rheology 66 (5) :895-906 (2022).
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We report the linear rheology for dense suspensions of sterically stabilized smooth and mesoscopically rough colloids interacting as hard particles. Small amplitude oscillatory measurements reveal that rough colloids at high volume fractions exhibit storage and loss moduli that are orders of magnitude greater than smooth colloids. Frequency-concentration superposition is used to collapse the viscoelasticity data onto a master curve, where shift factors suggest a more elastic microstructure and reduced cage volume for rough particles. A combination of the mode-coupling theory, hydrodynamic modeling, and the activated hopping theory shows that these rough particles with significantly reduced localization lengths tend to become trapped in their glassy cages for extended periods of time. High-frequency data show that rough colloids, but not smooth colloids, display a transition from a free-draining to a fully lubricated state above the crossover volume fraction and, furthermore, exhibit solidlike behavior. Scaling analyses support the idea that lubrication forces between interlocking asperities are enhanced, leading to rotational constraints and stress-bearing structures that significantly elevate the viscoelasticity of dense suspensions. The results provide a framework for how particle surface topology affects the linear rheology in applications such as coatings, cement, consumer products, and shock-absorbing materials.