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Colloidal dispersions: equilibrium and non-equilibrium under control

Prof. Hartmut Löwen
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf


Dispersions of colloidal nano-particles are both  relevant for applications (ink, paint etc) but also excellent model systems of classical statistical mechanics in order to understand the principles of phase transformations (freezing, glass transition, fluid-fluid phase separation). Using an external field (e.g. electric or magnetic field) the effective interaction between the colloidal particles can be tailored and the system can be brought into non-equilibrium in a controlled way. This leads to novel self-organization processes. Three examples will be discussed: freezing and partial clustering in two-dimensional systems, lane formation in driven mixtures, and the motion of a catalytically driven (self-propelled) circle-swimming nanorod in confinement.