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Issue 2, 2010
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Electric-field induced transitions in suspensions of charged colloidal rods

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Abstract

We explore transitions in suspensions of fd virus at a low ionic strength, induced by external electric fields at frequencies where double layers are polarized. On the basis of the different optical morphologies, phase/state diagrams are constructed in the field-amplitude versus frequency plane and the field-amplitude versus concentration plane. Due to interactions between polarized double layers, for low frequencies, various phases and dynamical states are found: a nematic phase, a striped phase and a dynamical state where nematic domains melt and reform. At relatively high frequencies of a few kHz, a uniform homeotropic phase is induced. The various phases and states are characterized by means of polarization microscopy, birefringence, dynamic light scattering and video-correlation spectroscopy. An expression is derived for the attenuation of the electric field due to electrode polarization, which is tested experimentally. This theory is used to correct phase/state diagrams for electrode polarization.

Graphical abstract: Electric-field induced transitions in suspensions of charged colloidal rods

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 May 2009, accepted on 15 Oct 2009 and first published on 27 Nov 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B910046F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 273-286
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    Electric-field induced transitions in suspensions of charged colloidal rods

    K. Kang and J. K. G. Dhont, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 273
    DOI: 10.1039/B910046F

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