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We study the low volume fraction and electric field phase behavior of a Brownian colloidal suspension. On the application of a uniform ac field, we find a novel phase where chains of particles aggregate to form a well defined cellular network, consisting of particle-free ‘‘voids’’ surrounded by a percolating network of particle-rich walls. This cellular structure is stable to very long times, indicative of an equilibrium thermodynamic phase. The cell-cell spacing is not sensitive to the concentration of the sample but scales with sample thickness. Any self-consistent mechanism for the existence of this void phase must consist of long-ranged repulsions and shorter-ranged attractions.
|Department(s):||Science, Faculty of > Physics and Physical Oceanography|
|Date:||11 May 2009|
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