Assembly of colloidal crystals at electrode interfaces

M. Trau, D. A. Saville, Ilhan A. Aksay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


We describe a theory for a new type of colloid behavior whereby particles deposited on a surface by electrophoresis are manipulated to form two-dimensional crystals. Since the particles are equally charged, the clustering is opposite that expected from electrostatic considerations. Such behavior is consistent with migration due to electrohydrodynamic flows associated with polarization layers and ion currents. Provided colloid stability is maintained, the assembly processes take place with both dc and ac fields and may be modulated by adjusting the field strength or frequency. No migration is present at frequencies above 1 MHz. Two-dimensional fluid and crystalline states can be formed on the electrode surface. Experiments with patterned electrodes demonstrate the presence of the electrohydrodynamic flow. A mathematical model of the electrohydrodynamics provides insight into the assembly process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6375-6381
Number of pages7
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 26 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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