We have studied the coupling of aggregation and crystallization in a mixture of colloidal spheres and colloidal rods. Taking advantage of specially prepared fluorescent silica spheres we are able to investigate this process at the particle level by fluorescense confocal microscopy. We find that above a limiting concentration of rods in the mixture, the spheres rapidly assemble to form compact aggregates which subsequently crystallize.

Faraday Discuss.

Vliegenthart, G. A., van Blaaderen, A., & Lekkerkerker, H. N. W. (1999). Phase transitions, aggregation and crystallization in mixed suspensions of colloidal spheres and rods. Faraday Discuss., 112, 173–182.