We investigate electrokinetic behavior of colloidal particles in the vicinity of a solid-liquid interface. Colloidal liquids are expected to be used as thermal transport media for heat transfer applications such as nanofluids and phase change emulsions. They contain submicrometer-sized particles in liquid, and electrokinetic behavior of the solute particles should play an important role in the heat transfer between solid-liquid interfacing boundaries. However, experimental investigation of the behavior remains difficult due to the required spatial resolution beyond diffraction limit. We developed a measurement system based on laser Doppler principle using an interference of evanescent waves generated at total internal reflections of incident lasers at a solid wall. The system was developed for the measurement of velocities of colloidal particles at an interfacing boundary of colloidal liquid and a solid wall. The system has a unique advantage of a high spatial resolution in the direction perpendicular to the boundary due to the short penetration depth of an evanescent wave in the range of a few hundred nanometers. The principle and performance of the measurement system were investigated using a scanning probe in the measurement volume. We experimentally confirmed the validity of the measurement and characterized the uncertainty of velocity measurement. The system was further applied in a series of measurements of alumina particles dispersed in water in a square-shaped cell under induced electric fields. The measured velocities are proportional to the field strengths at different particle concentrations. The linear relationship is consistent with theoretical predictions, which demonstrates the feasibility of the system for the measurement of velocities of colloidal particles in the near wall region.

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