Date: 19 Apr 2011

Electric-field-induced polarization of the layer of condensed ions on cylindrical colloids

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In concentrated suspensions of charged colloids, interactions between colloids can be induced by an external electric field through the polarization of charge distributions (within the diffusive double layer and the layer of condensed ions) and/or electro-osmotic flow. In case of rod-like colloids, these field-induced inter-colloidal interactions have recently been shown to lead to anomalous orientation perpendicular to the external field, and to phase/state transitions and dynamical states, depending on the field amplitude and frequency of the external field. As a first step towards a (semi-) quantitative understanding of these phenomena, we present a linear-response analysis of the frequency-dependent polarization of the layer of condensed ions on a single, long and thin cylindrical colloid. The in-phase and out-phase response functions for the charge distribution and the electric potential are calculated for arbitrary orientation of the cylindrical colloid. The frequency-dependent degree of alignment, which is proportional to the electric-field-induced birefringence, is calculated as well, and compared to experiments on dilute fd virus suspensions.