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Shape-induced superstructure formation in concentrated ferrofluids under applied magnetic fields

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Applied Crystallography
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1613 to 1621

The field-induced ordering of concentrated ferrofluids based on spherical and cuboidal maghemite nanoparticles is studied using small-angle neutron scattering, revealing a qualitative effect of the faceted shape on the interparticle interactions as shown in the structure factor and correlation lengths. Whereas a spatially disordered hard-sphere interaction potential with a short correlation length is found for ∼9 nm spherical nanoparticles, nanocubes of a comparable particle size exhibit a more pronounced interparticle interaction and the formation of linear arrangements. Analysis of the anisotropic two-dimensional pair distance correlation function gives insight into the real-space arrangement of the nanoparticles. On the basis of the short interparticle distances found here, oriented attachment, i.e. a face-to-face arrangement of the nanocubes, is likely. The unusual field dependence of the interparticle correlations suggests a field-induced structural rearrangement.