Rädler, Joachim O.; Sackmann, E. (1992): On the measurement of weak repulsive and frictional colloidal forces by reflection interference contrast microscopy. In: Langmuir, Nr. 3: S. 848-853




terference contrast (RIC) microscopy in combination with real-time image processing. The temporal fluctuations of the absolute sphere-to-substrate distance are determined from changes of interference fringe pattern (Newtonian rings). Both the shape about its minimum and the absolute minimum equilibrium distance of the interaction potential can be obtained by analyzing the distribution of distances in terms of a Boltzmann distribution. The timeautocorrelation function of distances yields the hydrodynamic friction. The method has been applied to the interaction of latex spheres with glass substrates in salt solutions of different ionic strength. The results correspond to classical electrostatic double layer theory that leads to a characteristic dependence of the mean separation distance and the mean square displacement on the radius of the spheres. The hydrodynamic friction close to a wall exhibits the predicted inverse proportionality to the sphere-wall distance. It is demonstrated that the method can be applied to study the interaction between biologically relevant objects such as giant vesicles with bilayer covered substrates.