Effect of Particle Diameter on Exclusion-zone Size

Effect of Particle Diameter on Exclusion-zone Size

D.T. Nhan
G.H. Pollack

Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

2 June 2011
| Citation



Particles and solutes are excluded from the vicinity of hydrophilic surfaces, leaving large microsphere-free regions known as exclusion zones (EZs). Prior work had indicated that EZs could extend to distances of up to several hundred micrometers from the nucleating surface. These observations were made on large, extended surfaces, leaving open the question whether EZ size might depend on the characteristic dimension of the excluding surface. We placed one or few ion-exchange-resin beads whose diameters varied from 15 µm to 300 µm in cuvettes. The beads were suffused with aqueous microsphere suspensions for observing the surfaces’ exclusionary behavior. Results showed a direct relation between bead size and EZ size over the full range of bead diameter, implying a similar relation for smaller particles or molecules, perhaps extending beyond the resolution of the light microscope.


Colloidal particles, exclusion zone, hydrophilic surfaces, ion-exchange resin beads


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