Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Chemical Engineering

Committee Member

Jaeger, Vance

Committee Member

Willing, Gerold

Committee Member

Williams, Stuart

Author's Keywords

colloids, pair, triplet, correlation, free energy


Interactions among colloidal particles drive stability of suspensions or the assembly of particles into larger superstructures such as agglomerates or crystals. Typically, colloidal interactions are modeled using pairwise interaction potential energies which consider the interactions between pairs of particles. However, additional particles can modulate pair potentials, leading models to predict incorrect behavior. To analyze the effects of three-body interactions on the structuring of colloidal systems, pair and triplet correlation functions are calculated from published experimental data. These correlation functions are then translated into empirical pair and triplet potentials of mean force, which are then used to model systems more accurately by considering triplet energies. To extract data from images and videos and translate them into accurate potentials requires significant effort. Assisting the derivation of empirical potentials from microscopic media, analysis programs have been written and tested on published data and shared publicly via GitHub to be used and improved freely.