The objective of this study is to synthesize cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanocubes and study their rheological behavior in suspensions of oligomers.
This system is of interest because suspensions of cubes are expected to exhibit enhancements over traditional spherical particles for applications such as liquid body armor. These enhancements are realized because of the ability of cubes to pack more closely and uniformly based on their planar faces. Shape is an important factor for shear thickening and hence the work is focusing on bare particles because ligand-coated particles lose their shear thickening features and simply shear thin. Although shear thinning is an important rheological observation, it is not a feature of suspensions suitable for liquid body armor. We are currently focusing on synthesizing non-spherical micro and nanostructures using microfluidics setup. Examples of particles that have been synthesized with this method which is suitable for the production of particles with any 2D extruded shape are shown here.