New Electric-Field-Driven Mesoscale Phase Transitions in Polarized Suspensions

Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 258301 – Published 15 December 2005
Anil Kumar, Boris Khusid, Zhiyong Qiu, and Andreas Acrivos


We report the discovery of a new class of an electric field-driven bulk phase transition due solely to dipolar interactions in a suspension under the action of a uniform ac field where the effects of other competing forces are suppressed. This transition appears after the well-known chain-column formation and causes the uniform suspension of columns to rearrange into a cellular pattern consisting of particle-free domains surrounded by particle-rich walls. Interestingly, the characteristic size of these domains scales linearly with the interelectrode spacing and remains insensitive to the size of the particles.


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  • Received 6 June 2005
  • Published 15 December 2005

© 2005 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Anil Kumar1, Boris Khusid2, Zhiyong Qiu1, and Andreas Acrivos1,*

  • 1The Levich Institute, The City College of New York, 140th Street & Convent Avenue, New York, New York 10031, USA
  • 2New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA

  • *Electronic address:

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