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Issue 45, 2014
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An experimental and simulation study on the self-assembly of colloidal cubes in external electric fields

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Abstract

When a suspension of colloidal particles is placed in an oscillating electric field, the contrast in dielectric constant between the particles and the solvent induces a dipole moment in each of the colloidal particles. The resulting dipole–dipole interactions can strongly influence the phase behavior of the system. We investigate the phase behavior of cube-shaped colloidal particles in electric fields, using both experiments and Monte Carlo simulations. In addition to a string fluid phase and a body centered tetragonal (BCT) crystal phase, we observe a columnar phase consisting of hexagonally ordered strings of rotationally disordered cubes. By simulating the system for a range of pressures and electric field strengths, we map out the phase diagram, and compare the results to the experimentally observed phases. Additionally, we estimate the accuracy of a point-dipole approximation on the alignment of cubes in string-like clusters.

Graphical abstract: An experimental and simulation study on the self-assembly of colloidal cubes in external electric fields

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Article information


Submitted
10 Aug 2014
Accepted
11 Sep 2014
First published
13 Oct 2014

Soft Matter, 2014,10, 9110-9119
Article type
Paper

An experimental and simulation study on the self-assembly of colloidal cubes in external electric fields

H. R. Vutukuri, F. Smallenburg, S. Badaire, A. Imhof, M. Dijkstra and A. van Blaaderen, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 9110
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01778A

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