Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

David S Corti

Second Advisor

Elias I Franses

Committee Member 1

Osman A Basaran

Committee Member 2

Chongli Yuan

Committee Member 3

Carl Wassgren Jr.


Brownian aggregation kinetics is a topic of interest for colloidal dispersions, macromolecular fluids, nanoparticle self-assembly, and biochemical reactions. The manipulation of colloidal dispersion stability by containing or promoting aggregation rates is manifest in several natural phenomena and engineering applications. The destabilization of silt dispersions as river water mixes with the high-ionic-strength seawater near river system deltas leads to the deposition of fertile soil on the river banks. Pigments used in the stone age paintings found in the Lascaux caves of France and in the written records of Egyptian pharaohs are early examples of stabilized colloidal dispersions. Present day applications include the manufacturing of paints and coatings, inkjet printing, formulation of food and pharmaceutical dispersions, waste-water treatment, and in the transport of solids during oil production. Aspects of this problem are also important in biological systems and affect cellular organization, enzyme catalysis, protein aggregation, and macromolecular binding. The primary focus of the thesis is on the fundamental study of this problem.