Soft particles in an electric field-a zero average contrast study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We report on the structural properties of ionic microgel particles subjected to alternating electric fields, using small-angle neutron scattering. The experiments were performed under so-called zero average contrast conditions, which cancel the structure factor contribution to the scattered intensity, allowing us to obtain direct information on the single particle size and structure as particles align in field-induced strings. Our results reveal only a marginal compression of the particles as they align in strings, and indicate considerable particle overlap at higher field strengths. These findings provide further insight into the origins of the previously reported unusual path dependent field-induced crystal-crystal transition found for these systems (P. S. Mohanty et al., Phys. Rev. X, 2015, 5, 011030).


  • Sofi Nöjd
  • Christopher Hirst
  • Marc Obiols-Rabasa
  • Julien Schmitt
  • Aurel Radulescu
  • Priti S. Mohanty
  • Peter Schurtenberger
External organisations
  • Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT)
  • Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6369-6374
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch