Dynamics and rheology under continuous shear flow studied by x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy

X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) has emerged as a unique technique allowing the measurement of dynamics of materials on
mesoscopic lengthscales. One of the most common problems associated with the use of bright x-ray beams is beam-induced radiation damage, and this is likely to become an even more limiting factor at future synchrotron and free-electron laser sources. Flowing the sample during data acquisition is one of the simplest methods allowing the radiation damage to be limited. In addition to distributing the dose over many different scatterers, the method also enables new functionalities such as time-resolved studies. Here, we further develop a recently proposed experimental technique that combines XPCS and continuously flowing samples. More specifically, we use a model colloidal
suspension to show how the macroscopic advective response to flow and the microscopic dissipative dynamics (diffusion) can be quantified from the x-ray data. Our results show very good quantitative agreement with a Poisseuille-flow hydrodynamical model combined with Brownian mechanics. The method has many potential applications, e.g. in the study of dynamics of glasses and gels under continuous shear/flow, protein aggregation processes and the interplay between dynamics and rheology in complex fluids.