Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Elias I Franses

Second Advisor

David S Corti

Committee Member 1

You-Yeon Won

Committee Member 2

Carlos Martinez


Agglomeration and sedimentation of suspended colloidal particles occur in many natural phenomena, in consumer products, and in engineering applications. Stabilized colloidal pigment dispersions were used in ancient Egypt and in ancient France thousands of years ago. Present day applications include the manufacturing of paints and coatings, enhanced oil recovery, waste-water treatment, pharmaceutical dispersions, biotechnology, and inkjet printing. The most common problem in colloidal science is how to stabilize suspended colloidal particles against agglomeration by controlling their interparticle forces. If the particles agglomerate, the sizes of the resulting agglomerated particles increase, increasing the sedimentation (or creaming) rate, and the suspensions can become unstable. In certain coating processes, preventing the agglomeration of dispersed particles is less important, since the particles may agglomerate after the coating is applied and dried. By contrast, strategies for preventing sedimentation, whether or not agglomeration occurs, are particularly important for suspensions containing high-density particles. For such suspensions, few fundamental studies are available in the literature, even though their uses are widespread. This thesis focuses principally, for the first time in