Quantitative real-space coordinates of 3D structures can be obtained with confocal microscopy on concentrated dispersions of index-matched silica spheres with a fluorescent particle core. The possibilities and limitations of this technique to probe 3D colloidal particle structures (e.g., glasses, crystals, gels and electro-rheological fluids) and dynamics of colloidal processes (e.g., diffusion, glass formation and phase separation) are discussed based on examples from the literature and new preliminary work presented in this paper. Extension of the method to the study of multi-component dispersions (e.g., binary crystals and glasses) is addressed as well.

Prog. Colloid Polym.Sci.

van Blaaderen, A. (1997). Quantitative real-space analysis of colloidal structures and dynamics with confocal scanning light microscopy. Prog. Colloid Polym.Sci., 104, 59–65.