Using optical tweezing to control phase separation and nucleation near a liquid–liquid critical point

Walton, F. and Wynne, K. (2019) Using optical tweezing to control phase separation and nucleation near a liquid–liquid critical point. Soft Matter, 15, pp. 8279-8289. (doi: 10.1039/C9SM01297D) (PMID:31603454)

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Abstract

About 20 years ago, it was shown that lasers can nucleate crystals in super-saturated solutions and might even be able to select the polymorph that crystallises. However, no theoretical model was found explaining the results and progress was slowed down. Here we show that laser-induced nucleation may be understood in terms of the harnessing of concentration fluctuations near a liquid–liquid critical point using optical tweezing in a process called laser-induced phase separation (LIPS) and LIPS and Nucleation (LIPSaN). A theoretical model is presented based on the regular solution model with an added term representing optical tweezing while the dynamics are modelled using a Kramers diffusion equation, and the roles of heat diffusion and thermophoresis are evaluated. LIPS and LIPSaN experiments were carried out on a range of liquid mixtures and the results compared to theory.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:WALTON, Finlay and Wynne, Professor Klaas
Authors: Walton, F., and Wynne, K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Soft Matter
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN:1744-683X
ISSN (Online):1744-6848
Published Online:04 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Soft Matter 15:8279-8289
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
166308Liquid-liquid transitions in molecular liquids: from supramolecular structure to phase separationKlaas WynneEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/J004790/1Chemistry
166776The structure and dynamics of water confined in nanoscale pools: the dynamic crossoverKlaas WynneEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/J009733/1Chemistry
172399Mapping and controlling nucleationKlaas WynneEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N007417/1Chemistry
304469CONTROLKlaas WynneEuropean Commission (EC)832703Chemistry