Two-dimensional colloidal mixtures in magnetic and gravitational fields
Institut für Theoretische Physik II: Weiche Materie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
Received: 6 September 2013
Revised: 17 September 2013
Published online: 25 November 2013
This mini-review is concerned with two-dimensional colloidal mixtures exposed to various kinds of external fields. By a magnetic field perpendicular to the plane, dipole moments are induced in paramagnetic particles which give rise to repulsive interactions leading to complex crystalline alloys in the composition-asymmetry diagram. A quench in the magnetic field induces complex crystal nucleation scenarios. If exposed to a gravitational field, these mixtures exhibit a brazil–nut effect and show a boundary layering which is explained in terms of a depletion bubble picture. The latter persists for time-dependent gravity (“colloidal shaking”). Finally, we summarize crystallization effects when the second species is frozen in a disordered matrix which provides obstacles for the crystallizing component.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2013