Stabilization of charged and neutral colloids in salty mixtures Academic Article uri icon


  • We present a mechanism for the stabilization of colloids in liquid mixtures without use of surfactants or polymers. When a suitable salt is added to a solvent mixture, the coupling of the colloid's surface chemistry and the preferential solvation of ions leads to a repulsive force between colloids that can overcome van der Waals attraction. This repulsive force is substantial in a large range of temperatures, mixture composition, and salt concentrations. The increased repulsion due to addition of salt occurs even for charged colloids. This mechanism may be useful in experimental situations where steric stabilization with surfactants or polymers is undesired.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013