Manipulation of colloids by a nonequilibrium depletion force in a temperature gradient

Hong Ren Jiang, Hirofumi Wada, Natsuhiko Yoshinaga, Masaki Sano

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178 Citations (Scopus)


The nonequilibrium distribution of colloids in a polymer solution under a temperature gradient is studied experimentally. A slight increase of local temperature by a focused laser drives the colloids towards the hot region, resulting in the trapping of the colloids irrespective of their own thermophoretic properties. An amplification of the trapped colloid density with the polymer concentration is measured, and is quantitatively explained by hydrodynamic theory. The origin of the attraction is a migration of colloids driven by a nonuniform polymer distribution sustained by the polymer's thermophoresis. These results show how to control the thermophoretic properties of colloids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208301
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May 18
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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