An electric bottle for colloids

M. T. Sullivan, K. Zhao, A. D. Hollingsworth, R. H. Austin, W. B. Russel, P. M. Chaikin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Particle concentration is a dominant control parameter for colloids and other soft matter systems. We demonstrate a simple technique, "dielectrophoretic equilibrium," implemented as an "electric bottle," a planar capacitor in a larger volume. The uniform E field in the capacitor traps particles in this force-free region at a higher density than in the zero field regions outside. We show how the technique measures the equation of state and we initiate and grow colloidal crystals. "Dielectrophoretic equilibria" enable the study of a complete concentration-dependent phase diagram from a single microscopic sample, obviating the previous need for preparing a large number of samples.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number015703
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 13 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


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