Dynamical heterogeneity in aging colloidal glasses of Laponite

Soft Matter (Impact Factor: 4.15). 01/2012; 8:5507. DOI: 10.1039/c2sm25171j
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Glasses behave as solids due to their long relaxation time; however the
origin of this slow response remains a puzzle. Growing dynamic length scales
due to cooperative motion of particles are believed to be central to the
understanding of both the slow dynamics and the emergence of rigidity. Here, we
provide experimental evidence of a growing dynamical heterogeneity length scale
that increases with increasing waiting time in an aging colloidal glass of
Laponite. The signature of heterogeneity in the dynamics follows from dynamic
light scattering measurements in which we study both the rotational and
translational diffusion of the disk-shaped particles of Laponite in suspension.
These measurements are accompanied by simultaneous microrheology and
macroscopic rheology experiments. We find that rotational diffusion of
particles slows down at a faster rate than their translational motion. Such
decoupling of translational and orientational degrees of freedom finds its
origin in the dynamic heterogeneity since rotation and translation probe
different length scales in the sample. The macroscopic rheology experiments
show that the low frequency shear viscosity increases at a much faster rate
than both rotational and translational diffusive relaxation times.

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