Anisotropic dynamics of magnetic colloidal cubes studied by X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Herein we present our results on the investigation of the influence of external magnetic fields on the anisotropic collective dynamics of core/shell colloidal cubes having a hematite core and silica shell. Owing to the hematite cores, these micrometer-sized particles possess permanent dipole moments, which are at an angle with respect to the long diagonal of the cubes. As a result, they self-assemble into chains, which subsequently sediment to form higher-order structures. Using multispeckle ultrasmall-angle X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, the anisotropic dynamics within these structures at the nearest-neighbor length scale was probed. The relaxation of the intermediate scattering function follows a compressed exponential behavior along all the different directions with respect to the external field-parallel, perpendicular, and at an angle ≈45a-indicating hyperdiffusive behavior. We believe that the inhomogeneous distribution of stress points originating from the interplay of external field-induced (both gravitational and magnetic) alignment of the chains are responsible for the anomalous dynamics. The effective diffusion coefficients along and at ≈45a angle exhibit mild de Gennes narrowing, which is not very common for hyperdiffusive dynamics. We rationalize our observations by considering a superposition of diffusive and stress-induced ballistic processes and argue that depending on the azimuthal direction the relative contribution from these two processes changes.


External organisations
  • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • Jülich Research Centre
  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Polymer Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Article number035603
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch