Previously we have reported a family of convective patterns formed by charge-stabilized aqueous colloidal suspensions under constant (dc) vertical electric fields [Y. Han and D. G. Grier, J. Chem. Phys. 122, 164701 (2005)10.1063/1.1884599; Y. Han and D. G. Grier, J. Chem. Phys. 125, 144707 (2006)10.1063/1.2349486]. These patterns form in the bulk when electrokinetic forces act in the opposite direction to gravity. Here, we report on cellular patterns that silica colloidal spheres form on a horizontal electrode when electrokinetic forces act in the same direction as gravity. We suggest that these cellular patterns form as a result of bulk electroconvection mediated by charge injection into the supporting aqueous electrolyte. This charge-injection mechanism also accounts for some aspects of electroconvective pattern formation in our earlier reports. Cellular patterns reorganize themselves into distinct transient patterns after the driving voltage is turned off. These transients cast new light on the complex interplay between the motions of charged colloidal spheres and the ionic relaxation of water undergoing electrolysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry