AC electrokinetic templating of colloidal particle assemblies: Effect of electrohydrodynamic flows

Jeffery A. Wood, Aristides Docoslis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The use of spatially nonuniform electric fields for the contact-free colloidal particle assembly into ordered structures of various length scales is a research area of great interest. In the present work, numerical simulations are undertaken in order to advance our understanding of the physical mechanisms that govern this colloidal assembly process and their relation to the electric field characteristics and colloidal system properties. More specifically, the electric-field driven assembly of colloidal silica (d p = 0.32 and 2 μm) in DMSO, a near index matching fluid, is studied numerically over a range of voltages and concentration by means of a continuum thermodynamic approach. The equilibrium (u f = 0) and nonequilibrium (u f ≠ 0) cases were compared to determine whether fluid motion had an effect on the shape and size of assemblies. It was found that the nonequilibrium case was substantially different versus the equilibrium case, in both size and shape of the assembled structure. This dependence was related to the relative magnitudes of the electric-field driven convective motion of particles versus the fluid velocity. Fluid velocity magnitudes on the order of mm/s were predicted for 0.32 μm particles at 1% initial solids content, and the induced fluid velocity was found to be larger at the same voltage/initial volume fraction as the particle size decreased, owing to a larger contribution from entropic forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4586-4597
Number of pages12
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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