Resolving the puzzle of ferrofluid dispersants

Rafael Tadmor, Ronald E. Rosensweig, Joseph Frey, Jacob Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Oleic acid and stearic acid are similar surfactants which, however, lead respectively to stability and to precipitation of ferrofluid suspensions: to understand this, the forces between layers of oleic-like surfactants and between layers of stearic-like surfactants across a hexadecane (HD) medium were measured using a surface force balance (SFB). Separate measurements reveal that only the oleic layers are solvated by HD, while the SFB results reveal that for both surfactants a marked net attraction is present between the surfaces. Simple considerations based on these observations explain why, despite this attraction, ferrofluid dispersions are stabilized by oleic but not by stearic surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9117-9120
Number of pages4
Issue number24
StatePublished - 28 Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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