Charged Colloidal Rods Out of Equilibrium


This article is a comprehensive overview of the ongoing research of the author on charged colloidal rods out of equilibrium, under external electric fields and at high concentrations around the glass transition. The suspensions of fd-virus particles are used as a model system for charged colloidal rods, which exhibit several disorder-order (and liquid-crystalline) phase transitions. When a low AC electric field is applied to suspensions in isotropic-nematic coexistence concentration, with frequencies that are sufficiently low to polarize the electric double layer and the layer of condensed ions, various phases/states are induced: a chiral nematic, a dynamical state where nematic domains persistently melt and form, and a uniform homeotropic phase. A point in the field-amplitude versus frequency diagram, where various transitions lines meet, can be identified as a non-equilibrium critical point. Without an electric field, at high concentrations of charged fd-rods, various self-assembled orientation textures are found beyond the isotropic-nematic coexistence regions, and a glass transition is observed on approach and within the glass state that are probed. The presented system exhibits transient behaviors of repulsive glasses and slow dynamics out of equilibrium.

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Kang, K. (2015) Charged Colloidal Rods Out of Equilibrium. Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science, 5, 23-32. doi: 10.4236/aces.2015.51003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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