Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Magnetic Fluids' Phase Transition Between Micelle and Mono-Dispersed Phases



S Taketomi, R V. Drew, Robert D. Shull


A very stably dispersed magnetic fluid (Mother MF) and its 1000-times diluted solution were independently zero-field-cooled from room temperature to 5 K followed by application of a magnetic field of 2.86 MA/m for 300 seconds. After the field was removed (t=0), its residual magnetization M was measured as a function of time t for 80000 s. After measurement, the MF sample was heated to room temperature, and the experiment was repeated after cooling to 5 K and again applying and removing the 2.86 MA/m field. We performed the same experiment several times, and obtained a different M vs t curve each time. With each cycle, the average M increased and the M vs t curve converged to a universal curve. In the initial few cycles, the value of M is very small, fluctuates and surprisingly increases with t in some time region. These characteristics are common in both the mother MF and diluted MF. We consequently propose the following physical model. When the MF is cooled, the isolated surfactant molecules in the solvent trigger the generation the generation of magnetic colloids micelles. In other words, there occurs a phase transition from the magnetic colloids monodispersed phase to a micelle phase. The magnetic dipoles of the micelle s colloids make a closed magnetic flux loop. That is the origin of the anomalously small value of the early cycles residual magnetization. After a certain time elapses the micelles spontaneously break due to their residual stress, and a finite magnetic moment of the individual micelle develops. We feel that is the origin of the increase in M with t.
Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics)


magnetic colloidal particle, magnetic fluid (MF), micelle, mono-dispersed phases, surfactant molecules


Taketomi, S. , Drew, R. and Shull, R. (2006), Magnetic Fluids' Phase Transition Between Micelle and Mono-Dispersed Phases, Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created April 17, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021