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Sedimentation equilibria of ferrofluids: II. Experimental osmotic equations of state of magnetite colloids

By B. Luigjes, D.M.E. Thies-Weesie, B.H. Erné and A.P. Philipse


The first experimental osmotic equation of state is reported for well-defined magnetic colloids that interact via a dipolar hard-sphere potential. The osmotic pressures are determined from the sedimentation equilibrium concentration profiles in ultrathin capillaries using a low-velocity analytical centrifuge, which is the subject of the accompanying paper I. The pressures of the magnetic colloids, measured accurately to values as low as a few pascals, obey Van 't Hoff's law at low concentrations, whereas at increasing colloid densities non-ideality appears in the form of a negative second virial coefficient. This virial coefficient corresponds to a dipolar coupling constant that agrees with the coupling constant obtained via independent magnetization measurements. The coupling constant manifests an attractive potential of mean force that is significant but yet not quite strong enough to induce dipolar chain formation. Our results disprove van der Waals-like phase behavior of dipolar particles for reasons that are ex

Year: 2012
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