Two-Dimensional Melting of a Crystal of Ferrofluid Spikes

F. Boyer1 and E. Falcon2

1 IUSTI, Université de Provence, CNRS (UMR 6595), 5 rue E. Fermi, 13 453 Marseille, France
2 Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC), Université Paris Diderot, CNRS (UMR 7057)
10 rue A. Domon & L. Duquet, 75 013 Paris, France 


Physical Review Letters 103, 144501 (2009)


DOI:        10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.144501


We report the observation of the transition from an ordered solid-like  phase to a disordered liquid-like phase of a lattice of spikes on a ferrofluid surface submitted to horizontal sinusoidal vibrations. The melting transition occurs for a critical spike displacement which is experimentally found to follow the Lindemann criterion, for two different lattice topologies (hexagonal and square) and over a wide range of lattice wavelengths. An intermediate hexatic-like phase between the solid and isotropic liquid phases is also observed and characterized by standard correlation functions. This dissipative out-of-equilibrium system exhibits strong similarities with 2D melting in solid-state physics.

Keywords :   2D melting – transition – solid – liquid – hexatic – out-of-equilibrium transition – correlation functions – Lindemann criterion – KTHNY – experiment – ferrofluid


47.65.Cb: Magnetic fluids and ferrofluids
64.70.D-: Solid-liquid transitions
05.70.Ln: Non equilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics

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