Anomalous Particle Rotation and Resulting Microstructure of Colloids in AC Electric Fields Academic Article uri icon


  • We study the transition of ordered structures to disordered bands and vortices in colloidal suspensions subjected to AC electric fields. We map the critical frequencies and field biases at which particles form disordered bands and vortices. These results are interpreted based on the trajectory dynamics of particle pairs using blinking optical tweezers. Under conditions that vortices are observed, individual particle pairs rotate out of alignment with the field. The direction and magnitude of these interactions determine the orientation and average angular velocity of the band revolution. Increasing the frequency of the electric field reduces the anomalous rotation of the particles pairs, consistent with the frequency dependence of the suspension order-to-disorder transition. This anomalous rotation is consistent with a torque on doublets generated by the mutual polarization of particles and phase lag of the induced dipoles.

author list (cited authors)

  • Lele, P. P., Mittal, M., & Furst, E. M.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008 11:11 AM