Structure formation in suspensions under uniform electric or magnetic field

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The structure formation of particles with induced dipoles dispersed in a viscous fluid, under a spatially and temporarily uniform external electric or magnetic field, is investigated by means of Brownian Dynamics simulations. Dipole–dipole interactions forces, excluded volume forces and thermal fluctuations are accounted for. The resulting structures are characterized in terms of average orientation of their inter-particle vectors (second Legendre polynomial), network structure, size of particle clusters, anisotropy of the gyration tensor of every cluster and existence of (cluster) percolation. The magnitude of the strength of the external field and the volume fraction of particles are varied and the structural evolution of the system is followed in time. The results show that the characteristic timescale calculated from the interaction of only two dipoles is also valid for the collective dynamics of many-particle simulations. In addition, the magnitude of the strength of the external field in the range of values we investigate influences only the magnitude of the deviations around the average behavior. The main characteristics (number density of branch-points and thickness of branches) of the structure are mainly affected by the volume fraction. The possibility of 3D printing these systems is explored. While the paper provides the details about the case of an electric field, all results presented here can be translated directly into the case of a magnetic field and paramagnetic particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
JournalMultiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2021

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  • dipoles structure formation
  • external field
  • suspensions

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