Volume 78, Number 2, April 2007
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||28 March 2007|
Reversible gelation and dynamical arrest of dipolar colloids
University Chemical Laboratory - Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
Accepted: 5 March 2007
We use molecular dynamics simulations of a simple model to show that dispersions of slightly elongated colloidal particles with long-range dipolar interactions, like ferrofluids, can form a physical (reversible) gel at low volume fractions. On cooling, the particles first self-assemble into a transient percolating network of cross-linked chains, which, at much lower temperatures, then undergoes a kinetic transition to a dynamically arrested state with broken ergodicity. This transition from a transient to a frozen gel is characterised by dynamical signatures reminiscent of jamming in much denser dispersions.
PACS: 61.20.Ja – Computer simulation of liquid structure / 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 82.70.Gg – Gels and sols
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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