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Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Dec 16;95(25):258301. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

New electric-field-driven mesoscale phase transitions in polarized suspensions.

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The Levich Institute, The City College of New York, 140th Street & Convent Avenue, New York, New York 10031, USA.


We report the discovery of a new class of an electric field-driven bulk phase transition due solely to dipolar interactions in a suspension under the action of a uniform ac field where the effects of other competing forces are suppressed. This transition appears after the well-known chain-column formation and causes the uniform suspension of columns to rearrange into a cellular pattern consisting of particle-free domains surrounded by particle-rich walls. Interestingly, the characteristic size of these domains scales linearly with the interelectrode spacing and remains insensitive to the size of the particles.

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