Engineering interparticle interactions in colloidal systems

Engineering interparticle interactions in colloidal systems
Colloids abound in nature as well as in technology including pharmacy, paint and food
industry etc. Their rich physical and chemical behavior leads to plethora of
fundamentally interesting phenomena and provides many ways of their manipulation.
In our experiments we use colloids with tightly controlled properties which are suitable
as models in statistical physics of atomic or molecular systems. Particularly useful due to
the possibility of precisely controlling the interparticle interaction are the magnetic
colloids. In my talk I will present several experiments demonstrating how in a (quasi ) 2D
systems a complex effective interparticle interactions can be induced by a proper
combination of external fields and confinement geometry. I will show two examples: a
core-softened and a DLVO-like pair interactions and their effect on colloidal crystal
phases in many particle systems.