The phenomenology of modulated phases: From magnetic solids and fluids to organic films and polymers

David Andelman*, Ronald E. Rosensweig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter surveys aspects of patternings that occur in a wide array of physical systems due to interacting combinations of dipolar, interfacial, charge exchange, entropic, and geometric influences. We review well-established phenomena as a basis for discussion of more recent developments. While the materials of interest range from bulk inorganic solids and polymer organic melts to fluid colloids and granular suspensions, we note that often there are unifying principles behind the various modulated structures, such as the competition between surface or line tension and dipolar interaction in thermally reversible systems; their properties can be understood by free-energy minimization. In other cases, the patterns are determined by dissipative forces. In all these systems the patterning is modulated by the application of force fields. Another common feature of these disparate systems is that a phase diagram often emerges as a convenient descriptor. We also mention a number of interesting technological applications for certain of the systems under review.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolymers, Liquids And Colloids In Electric Fields
Subtitle of host publicationInterfacial Instabilites, Orientation And Phase Transitions
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co. Pte Ltd
Number of pages56
ISBN (Electronic)9789814271691
ISBN (Print)9789814271684
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2009


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