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Computer simulations of the structure of colloidal ferrofluids

Huang, J., Wang, Z. and Holm, C. (2005) Computer simulations of the structure of colloidal ferrofluids. Physical Review E, 71 (6). 061203. ISSN 1539-3755

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.71.061203

Abstract/Summary

The structure of a ferrofluid under the influence of an external magnetic field is expected to become anisotropic due to the alignment of the dipoles into the direction of the external field, and subsequently to the formation of particle chains due to the attractive head to tail orientations of the ferrofluid particles. Knowledge about the structure of a colloidal ferrofluid can be inferred from scattering data via the measurement of structure factors. We have used molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate the structure of both monodispersed and polydispersed ferrofluids. The results for the isotropic structure factor for monodispersed samples are similar to previous data by Camp and Patey that were obtained using an alternative Monte Carlo simulation technique, but in a different parameter region. Here we look in addition at bidispersed samples and compute the anisotropic structure factor by projecting the q vector onto the XY and XZ planes separately, when the magnetic field was applied along the z axis. We observe that the XY- plane structure factor as well as the pair distribution functions are quite different from those obtained for the XZ plane. Further, the two- dimensional structure factor patterns are investigated for both monodispersed and bidispersed samples under different conditions. In addition, we look at the scaling exponents of structure factors. Our results should be of value to interpret scattering data on ferrofluids obtained under the influence of an external field.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code:38014
Publisher:American Physical Society

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