(585a) Field Directed Assembly of Colloidal Suspensions
The use of external fields to control the microstructure of colloidal suspensions has long been recognized as a powerful means for tailoring the mechanical, optical and electronic properties of materials. More recently, the field-directed self-assembly of colloids has emerged as an important paradigm in the creation of novel functional micro- and nano-structures. The use of external fields enables precise control over the energetics of assembly through a tunable order-disorder transition. In this talk, we will discuss recent results that provide insight into the polarization mechanism underlying the order-disorder transition of suspensions in AC electric fields. Understanding the polarization mechanism provides scalability of field-directed assembly across a vast parameter space of physico-chemical conditions, including particle size, shape, composition (dielectric properties), surface chemistry and solution conditions.