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Issue 14, 2011
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Chain formation in a magnetic fluid under the influence of strong external magnetic fields studied by small angle neutron scattering

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Abstract

We studied the aggregation of magnetic particles into chain-like structures in a cobalt-based magnetic fluid, exposed to external magnetic fields. The length of chain segments in very strong magnetic fields of up to 2 Tesla was measured in situ using small angle neutron scattering. Arrangement of the magnetic particles was studied with the scattering vector [Q with combining right harpoon above (vector)] aligned parallel to the magnetic field lines, and at angles of 30° and 60° with respect to [B with combining right harpoon above (vector)]. Although chains several hundred particles in length were predicted, we observe a maximum correlation length of ∼65 nm equivalent to 3–4 particles up to highest fields. We speculate that the interaction between chains, i.e., the interplay between the entropy and energy of the system combined with the particular properties of the magnetic dipole–dipole interaction ultimately decide the length of the particle chains.

Graphical abstract: Chain formation in a magnetic fluid under the influence of strong external magnetic fields studied by small angle neutron scattering

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jan 2011, accepted on 21 Apr 2011 and first published on 20 Jun 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05104K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 6678-6683
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    Chain formation in a magnetic fluid under the influence of strong external magnetic fields studied by small angle neutron scattering

    M. Barrett, A. Deschner, J. P. Embs and M. C. Rheinstädter, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 6678
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05104K

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