Electrophoresis of spheroidal particles having a random distribution of zeta potential

Jason D. Feick, Darrell Velegol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Charge nonuniformity on colloidal particles can be a dominant factor in determining the bulk stability of a dispersion. However, experimental measurements of such nonuniformity are lacking. One straightforward technique for measuring the charge nonuniformity on particles is `electrophoretic rotation', and the calculations in this paper enable the interpretation of electrophoretic rotation experiments for spheroids. For systems with infinitesimal double layers, it is shown that if the charge (or ζ potential) is randomly distributed over the individual particles in a dispersion, where each particle is covered with N equal-area patches, then the spheroids will on average rotate with an angular velocity proportional to σζ/√N, where σζ is the standard deviation of zeta potential on the patches. This is true for any random distribution of ζ potential, which emphasizes that `random' implies `nonuniform'. Whereas standard translational electrophoretic mobility gives the average zeta potential (〈ζ〉) on particles, the rotational electrophoretic mobility gives the standard deviation of ζ potential (σζ).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10315-10321
Number of pages7
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 26 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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