Publication Details

This article was originally published as Cox, BJ, Thamwattana, N & Hill, JM, Electric field-induced force between two identical uncharged spheres, Applied Physics Letters, 2006, 88, 152903. Original journal available here.


The problem of electric field-induced force between spheres is fundamental to electrorheological fluids. Previously published experimental results indicate that the interaction force between two spheres under an external field is not adequately explained by the existing approximate and numerical methods. The specific models compared were dipole, dipole with local field corrections and a finite-element analysis. This letter employs an exact solution (via the equivalent multipole-moment method) to the electrostatic problem which accurately predicts the low-frequency experimental results at all measured interstices. The solution presented later is self-contained and addresses specifically the geometry of the previously mentioned experimental results. While more general solutions have been published previously, they are more complex than is required by this problem. The solution presented here is accurate for all sphere spacings, but in particular could apply to nano-spheres in close proximity.



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