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A systematic field-theoretical description of critical adsorption on curved objects such as spherical or rodlike colloidal particles immersed in a fluid near criticality is presented. The temperature dependence of the corresponding order parameter profiles and of the excess adsorption are calculated explicitly. Critical adsorption on elongated rods is substantially more pronounced than on spherical particles. It turns out that, within the context of critical phenomena in confined geometries, critical adsorption on a microscopically thin ‘‘needle’’ represents a distinct universality class of its own. Under favorable conditions the results are relevant for the flocculation of colloidal particles.


©1999 American Physical Society. Original published version available at

Publication Title

Physical Review E





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