Colloid–polymer mixtures exhibit a very interesting
phase behaviour. Mixtures form gels, show gas–liquid coexistence, or display
colloidal (liquid) crystalline phases because of depletion effects. In some
cases even three or four-phases coexist simultaneously. In model studies where
this phase behaviour has been studied, rather idealised systems are considered.
We plan to extend current understanding towards more complex mixtures where
charges are present, polymers are more realistic, polydispersity effects are
taken into account, and soft interactions occur, as to better understand
current and future applications.