Electrophoretic mobility and aggregation in suspensions of three types of microspheres (Ms 1, Ms 2 and Ms 3) are studied at different pH, ionic strengths and temperatures of the medium. Here Ms 1 is a core particle composed of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-styrene). Ms 2 is a core-shell microsphere consisting of Ms 1 as the particle core covered with a surface layer of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogel. Ms 3 is also a core-shell microsphere composed of MS-1 covered with a surface layer of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) hydrogel. The charge density zN and the softness parameter 1/λ of the microspheres were obtained from the electrophoretic mobility data on the basis of an electrokinetic theory of soft particles. It is shown that when zN is large, suspensions of microspheres are always stable, showing no aggregation. When zN is small, the suspensions are stable for large 1/λ but show strong aggregation for small 1/λ. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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