American Chemical Society
la0616505_si_004.pdf (398.5 kB)

Preparation and Properties of Monodisperse Latex Spheres with Controlled Magnetic Moment for Field-Induced Colloidal Crystallization and (Dipolar) Chain Formation

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journal contribution
posted on 2006-11-21, 00:00 authored by S. Sacanna, A. P. Philipse
We report the preparation and properties of monodisperse magnetic poly(methyl methacrylate) latex spheres that exhibit field-induced colloidal crystallization to exotic morphologies controlled by the geometry of the gradient. The magnetic moment of the novel magnetic spheres is due to an inner core of magnetite particles. These particles, obtained from a conventional ferrofluid, first form a monodisperse emulsion with a silane coupling agent, after which they are directly incorporated in PMMA latex synthesized by standard emulsion polymerization. Scattering from the latex shell dominates over light absorption by the magnetic cores such that visible Bragg reflections of the magnetic crystals can be clearly observed. Concentrated nearly white latex fluids may exhibit near a magnet the warped equilibrium menisci known from the usually dark magnetite ferrofluids. Of the many possible applications, we briefly discuss the subsequent growth and melting of crystals by a slowly oscillating gradient, the formation of radial lattices, and the formation of ordered magnetic dots in PMMA latex films.