Dynamics of the field-induced formation of hexagonal zipped-chain superstructures in magnetic colloids

D. Heinrich, A. R. Goñi, A. Smessaert, S. H.L. Klapp, L. M.C. Cerioni, T. M. Osán, D. J. Pusiol, C. Thomsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Combining nuclear magnetic resonance and molecular dynamics simulations, we unravel the long-time dynamics of a paradigmatic colloid with strong dipole-dipole interactions. In a homogeneous magnetic field, ionic ferrofluids exhibit a stepwise association process from ensembles of monomers over stringlike chains to bundles of hexagonal zipped-chain patches. We demonstrate that attractive van der Waals interactions due to charge-density fluctuations in the magnetic particles play the key role for the dynamical stabilization of the hexagonal superstructures against thermal dissociation. Our results give insight into the dynamics of self-organization in systems dominated by dipolar interactions. © 2011 American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number208301
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Volume106
    Issue number20
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2011

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