A comparative study of the determination of ferrofluid particle size by means of rotational Brownian motion and translational Brownian motion

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Two methods, the Toroidal Technique and the Forced Rayleigh Scattering (FRS) method, were used in the determination of the size of magnetic particles and their aggregates in magnetic fluids. The toroidal technique was used in the determination of the complex, frequency dependent magnetic susceptibility, χ(ω)=χ′(ω)-iχ″(ω) of magnetic fluids consisting of two colloidal suspensions of cobalt ferrite in hexadecene and a colloidal suspension of magnetite in isopar m with corresponding saturation magnetisation of 45.5 mT, 20 mT and 90 mT, respectively. Plots of the susceptibility components against frequency f over the range 10 Hz to 1 MHz, are shown to have approximate Debye-type profiles with the presence of relaxation components being indicated by the frequency, fmax, of the maximum of the loss-peak in the χ″(ω) profiles. The FRS method (the interference of two intense laser beams in the thin film of magnetic fluid) was used to create the periodical structure of needle like clusters of magnetic particles. This creation is caused by a thermodiffusion effect known as the Soret effect. The obtained structures are indicative of as a self diffraction effect of the used primary laser beams. The relaxation phenomena arising from the switching off of the laser interference field is discussed in terms of a spectrum of relaxation times. This spectrum is proportional to the hydrodynamic particle size distribution. Corresponding calculations of particle hydrodynamic radius obtained by both mentioned methods indicate the presence of aggregates of magnetic particles.

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