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.
- Received 6 June 2005
- Published 15 December 2005
© 2005 The American Physical Society