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|Haloing in bimodal magnetic colloids: The role of field-induced phase separation
|Haloing in bimodal magnetic colloids: The role of field-induced phase separation / C. Magnet, P. Kuzhir, G. Bossis, A. Meunier, L. Suloeva, A. Zubarev // Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics. — 2012. — Vol. 86. — № 1.
|If a suspension of magnetic micrometer-sized and nanosized particles is subjected to a homogeneous magnetic field, the nanoparticles are attracted to the microparticles and form thick anisotropic halos (clouds) around them. Such clouds can hinder the approach of microparticles and result in effective repulsion between them. In this paper, we present detailed experimental and theoretical studies of nanoparticle concentration profiles and of the equilibrium shapes of nanoparticle clouds around a single magnetized microsphere, taking into account interactions between nanoparticles. We show that at a strong enough magnetic field, the ensemble of nanoparticles experiences a gas-liquid phase transition such that a dense liquid phase is condensed around the magnetic poles of a microsphere while a dilute gas phase occupies the rest of the suspension volume. Nanoparticle accumulation around a microsphere is governed by two dimensionless parameters-the initial nanoparticle concentration (φ 0) and the magnetic-to-thermal energy ratio (α)-and the three accumulation regimes are mapped onto a α-φ 0 phase diagram. Our local thermodynamic equilibrium approach gives a semiquantitative agreement with the experiments on the equilibrium shapes of nanoparticle clouds. The results of this work could be useful for the development of the bimodal magnetorheological fluids and of the magnetic separation technologies used in bioanalysis and water purification systems. © 2012 American Physical Society.
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