Schneider, Ch.; Hanisch, M.; Wedel, B.; Jusufi, A.; Ballauff, M.: Experimental study of electrostatically stabilized colloidal particles: Colloidal stability and charge reversal. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 358 (2011), p. 62-67

We consider the interaction of colloidal spheres in the presence of mono-, di-, and trivalent ions. The colloids are stabilized by electrostatic repulsion due to surface charges. The repulsive part of the interaction potential Wd is deduced from precise measurements of the rate of slow coagulation. These ‘‘microsurface potential measurements’’ allow us to determine a weak repulsion in whichWd is of the order of a few kBT. These data are compared to f potential measured under similar conditions. At higher concentrations both di- and trivalent counterions accumulate at the very proximity of the particle surface leading to charge reversal. The salt concentration ccr at which charge reversal occurs is found to be always above the critical coagulation concentration cccc. The analysis of Wd and of the f potential demonstrates, however, that adsorption of multivalent counterions starts far below ccr. Hence, colloid stability in the presence of di- and trivalent ions cannot be described in terms of a DLVO ansatz assuming a surface charge that is constant with regard to the ionic strength.