Electric forces among nanospheres in a dielectric host

X. T. Li, D. J. Bergman, D. Stroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The force among a collection of dielectric spheres, suspended in a different dielectric host and subject to a uniform instantaneous external electric field, has been calculated as a function of the various parameters of the problem. A new approach is used to do this which is essentially exact: No assumptions are made regarding the smallness of spatial separation of neighboring spheres or the closeness of the two permittivities. In particular, the spheres can be metallic and the separation can be much smaller than the two radii. As an example, the case of two spheres is discussed in detail. Also discussed is the force acting on the smallest sphere in a nanolens configuration of three linearly aligned metallic spheres whose sizes and separations diminish consecutively in a self-similar fashion. Actually, the approach can be applied to find the force acting on any sphere in larger collections of spheres, subject to an external field which points in an arbitrary direction. Possible applications include simulations of electrorheological fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1016
Number of pages7
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Electric forces among nanospheres in a dielectric host'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this